Mesothelioma is cancer of the organ linings. It develops very slowly, often taking decades after a worker has environmental exposure to asbestos for the disease to become diagnosable. Workers who have long since retired and may now live on a fixed income suddenly find themselves facing aggressive treatment recommendations for a cancer that has no cure.
Unfortunately, that means that many people with mesothelioma don’t seek treatment. Shockingly, as many as 40% of older adults with malignant pleural mesothelioma won’t receive any real treatment for their condition. That abysmal treatment rate likely contributes to the very low five-year survival rate that mesothelioma patients have.
Why do so many people choose not to receive care that might extend their lives or improve their quality of life when they have mesothelioma?
Expenses can be a big concern for those with mesothelioma
Given that there is no treatment regimen that will cure mesothelioma, there are many insurance restrictions on what insurance companies will cover. Newer treatments like immunotherapy and cutting-edge drug cocktails may not be part of someone’s insurance policy, meaning they have to pay out-of-pocket for that care.
Many older adults might simply choose to let the disease progress rather than emptying out their savings to treat a cancer that will still prove fatal. That kind of black-and-white thinking is unfortunate because there are certainly other options. Pursuing compensation from a former employer or even an asbestos bankruptcy fund could be a way for those with mesothelioma to cover the cost of their care.
Exploring what options are available to you could help you make the best of your recent mesothelioma diagnosis.