Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families

Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families
Breaking Bad News to Mesothelioma Victims and Families
December 18, 2016

The expressions that often follow the realization that a family member has been diagnosed with mesothelioma are often dramatic and will differ from one individual to another. What is worse is when the diagnosis comes shortly after the family is recovering from the pain of losing another family member – how to deliver such a bad news becomes a great challenge.

Family members become emotionally weak on the diagnosis of mesothelioma

When sadly a member of the family has been diagnosed with mesothelioma (stage four which is the most malignant stage of the disease), only those who understand what mesothelioma means and who understand the stages will likely show emotional signs. In other words, they will begin to countdown to the demise of the person because mesothelioma, like every other form of malignant cancer, has no cure yet.

Read also: The Need for Mesothelioma Patients to Plan Realistic New Year Resolution

People should be aware of the danger associated with exposure to asbestos

Mesothelioma has been linked through research to exposure to asbestos particles – little wonder the substance and its commercial use have been banned in various countries. Asbestos is a very useful material in that it is used for the production of roofing sheets, paper, paint, and tires. However, when the dust is inhaled, they cause serious damage to the body that progress to cancer – known as mesothelioma.

Cancer results when body cells lose the ability to self-restrict division

The body cells are continuously dividing to replace dead and worn out cells – a phenomenon that ensures normal health. These cells continue to divide until they come in contact with another cell and then the division will stop a term known as contact inhibition. Cancerous cells will keep dividing even when they come in contact with other cells leading to a dense mass of cells.

Read also: Different Questions You are Expected to Ask Your Mesothelioma Oncologist

Doctors struggle to break the news of mesothelioma to patients

The same way it is hard for patients to break the news of mesothelioma to loved ones, so it hard for doctors to break the news of mesothelioma diagnosis to the patient. Though every patient is different in that their reaction will be different to a situation but it is hard for the doctors to phantom what would work for one family or the other.

Honesty and directness should be emphasized in breaking bad news

When holding a diagnosis that has to do with revealing diagnosis especially when it has to do with mesothelioma, it has been advised by medical professionals that honesty and directness should be adhered to. In a bid to make the news less fatal, some people resort to lies, hence, hurting the patient in the long run when they realize the truth.

Read also: How Mesothelioma Caregivers can Cope with the Stress

Experience does not make breaking bad news easier

Many medical professionals who have been breaking bad news of mesothelioma diagnosis to families have confessed that no amount of experience would make it easier holding a conversation that would suit the patient.

Choosing the right words to use to break a bad news is very important

First off, it may be a great idea to ask the patient to describe what they understand about mesothelioma. This can help to avoid misinterpretation. Physicians should avoid too much use of medical jargon since this can lead to mistrust on the part of the patient.

There are some great steps to holding a great discussion with mesothelioma patients

You have to give room for emotional ventilation; allow the loved ones to freely express themselves. Make yourself as clear as possible and answer all questions that may arise as clearly as possible. Treatment plans and any chance of combatting the illness should be properly discussed.

Read also: The Necessity of Mesothelioma Patients to Work Closely with an Oncology Dietitian

Article highlights

  • It is hard to break the news of mesothelioma diagnosis.
  • Experience does not make breaking bad news of mesothelioma easier.
  • Physicians should avoid too much use of medical jargons when breaking bad news.
  • Those who don’t understand the severity of mesothelioma will be indifferent to the news.
  • People are still not aware of the dangers of asbestos exposure.
  • Explain every term when discussing mesothelioma.
  • You have to choose your words carefully when breaking bad news.
  • Lies can devastate the patient if they realize the truth.
  • Asbestos makes the cells to lose their contact inhibition mechanism.
  • Asbestos has been used in many manufacturing companies.

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