The average age of the person diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma is 60 years or older. With advances in technology, many are users of smartphones, technology, and the internet. There was a time when these technologies were mostly for the younger generation, but today we are all using these devices to some capacity. Technology has changed the way we obtain information, including some options for treatment for a serious rare cancer.
From my personal experience, patients use these devices to ask questions or seek further understanding. People have apps on their phones that help them monitor vital signs or schedule medications. This concept has become very beneficial to the mesothelioma community. Often these texts, pictures, and graph, or any information that can be shared with a healthcare professional can be a game changer. We as mesothelioma team members stay in tune with patients, but information that is in real time sometimes can state the facts and make the picture of what is going on clearer.
This avenue has allowed patients to feel more confident asking questions. Having a serious illness like mesothelioma forces you to contemplate the possibilities of treatment. As nurses, technology can help educate the patient about their disease treatment and recovery. When one understands this disease and its many complex characteristics it empowers patients. Technology has also empowered the patient making them feel in control.
Another reason to take advantage of technology is if you have traveled to a Mesothelioma Center of Excellence and you don’t live nearby. Sending pictures or texts can paint a clearer picture of what is going on. If you are staying nearby your treatment center and are away from home, FaceTiming with family can help this road be less lonesome or stressful. One of the keys to success on your journey with mesothelioma is keeping in control and giving factual information to the healthcare team.
At the end of the day a person needs to be able to participate in his own care and feel good about him or herself. If using technology to advance your understanding of this disease, or using devices to help maintain or improve your health is an option than this is what you should do. There are many devices on our smartphones that can track, monitor, and log information which helps give a picture as to what is going on. Communication with your mesothelioma team, with your family and friends, updating your progress, and becoming involved in support groups are now all accessible through technology. These services may not be for all and that is fine too. Whether you use the latest apps or not to obtain information, the bottom line is to do what makes you feel comfortable.
Belluck & Fox works tirelessly to help mesothelioma patients get access to information and justice they deserve. If you are diagnosed, reach out for a free consultation today.