The stereotype of a mesothelioma patient is an older male who plied a trade over decades that exposed him to asbestos. In fact, many women receive these life-changing diagnoses. The disease does not discriminate. A recent study reveals the different dynamics between the genders, their specific needs, and how they deal with an uncertain and highly challenging future.
The University of Sheffield looked at gender-specific issues when it comes to the following:
- Treatments and trials
- Compensation via benefits and legal claims
- Specific concerns as they move forward post-diagnoses
Shifting priorities. Differing reactions.
Women were more likely to make preparations for a time after they are gone, focusing on the emotional elements of their possible deaths. Men directed their efforts at financial stability for their family in a future where they may not be around to provide for them, specifically through the filing of lawsuits.
Treatment options also revealed a stark difference between the genders. Males took a more decisive approach by pursuing aggressive treatments and clinical trials, prioritizing ongoing appointments and the latest medications. Conversely, women were more forward-thinking about the personal aspects of their choices and how their decisions will impact their loved ones.
While the study revealed trends of men versus women, the findings are not absolute. Individual people will make personal choices, regardless of their gender. A mesothelioma diagnosis is an emotionally charged moment that requires customized strategies for both treatment and the strong possibility that the disease will be fatal.
Exposure to asbestos continues to change and end lives, primarily due to the ongoing and baffling decision to continue asbestos imports in the United States. Holding manufacturers and other parties accountable for their negligence may be an option to secure a form of justice for mesothelioma patients and their family members.