Risk Factors for Mesothelioma
This type of cancer is closely associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos, so we’ll want to know more about your personal history and past work to accurately diagnose mesothelioma. This cancer is most often found in people who have worked where asbestos was once present. That includes auto factories, construction sites, and chemical processing plants. Veterans who served in the armed forces from the 1940s to 1970s may also have exposure because asbestos was widely used at bases and naval yards during that time.
Who Mesothelioma Impacts Most
Older Americans are most often diagnosed with mesothelioma because the cancer takes a long time to form in your body, and a diagnosis may not be possible until decades after exposure to asbestos. The average person diagnosed with mesothelioma is in their mid-70s. Because of your age and the low cure rate of the disease, our goal is to start treatment as soon as possible. We focus on your comfort and providing you with added time and quality of life.
Your Time at the Duke Cancer Center
Our experts in diagnosing and treating mesothelioma are based in Durham at the Duke Cancer Center. If you’re not within a short driving distance, you’ll want to arrive in Durham the night before scheduled tests and treatment. The Duke Health concierge office can help you secure a room at a nearby hotel.
On the day you see our care team, you may begin tests as early as 7:30 am. You should expect to spend much of the day having tests and meeting with our specialists. You will review your options with a surgical oncologist and medical oncologist, who will talk to you about options for surgery, chemotherapy, and immune therapy. Many people who see us for mesothelioma have surgery. If surgery is part of your treatment plan, we’ll schedule it to take place as soon as possible. You’ll spend at least one night in Duke University Hospital’s intensive care unit and may need to stay at the hospital for up to a week as you recover.