Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be devastating not only to you but also to your family and friends. In order to regain a sense of control, try to:

  • Learn enough about mesothelioma to make decisions about your care. Write down questions to ask your doctor. Ask your health care team for information to help you better understand your disease. Good places to start looking for more information include the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
  • Surround yourself with a support network. Close friends or family can help you with everyday tasks, such as getting you to appointments or treatment. If you have trouble asking for help, learn to be honest with yourself and accept help when you need it.
  • Seek out other people with cancer. Ask your health care team about cancer support groups in your community. Sometimes there are questions that can only be answered by other people with cancer. Support groups offer a chance to ask these questions and receive support from people who understand your situation. Online support message boards, such as the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors Network, can offer similar benefits while allowing you to remain anonymous.
  • Plan ahead. Ask your health care team about advance directives that give your family guidance on your medical wishes in case you can no longer speak for yourself.
Oct. 24, 2012