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The Psychological Impact of Mesothelioma

AdobeStock_223696534.jpegMesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that results from asbestos fibers inhaled into the lungs, heart, or abdomen where it remains. Symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain do not show up in the early stages. Tragically, diagnoses mostly occur when the disease has advanced. Victims have an average life span of 12 months following the tragic news.

The physical impact of mesothelioma is wide-ranging. However, the emotional effects depend on how individual patients deal with an uncertain future.

A study from the University of Florida conducted an in-depth analysis of more than 123,000 cases where patients were suffering from advanced-stage pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer, having been diagnosed between 2001 and 2013.

Results revealed that women (22 percent) were more likely to suffer depression than men (16 percent). Specific racial breakdowns for men and women combined show the following:

•· Non-Hispanic white patients - 20 percent

•· Hispanic patients - 12.7 percent

•· Non-Hispanic black patients - 15.9 percent

Depression is not only prominent, but it is also on the rise with nine percent suffering from this form of mental illness while enduring a physical disease. Commonly, these feelings occur within the first three months following a mesothelioma diagnosis.

Regardless of how it occurs, staying physically active is paramount. Even mesothelioma surgery can help alleviate depression. However, giving up favorite activities can only fast-track feelings of hopelessness that can only make a bad situation worse.

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