The Mesothelioma Veterans Center was founded in 2015 to serve veterans who were harmed by asbestos exposure. Our team is made up of medical personnel, veterans, and family members of those who have served to help people with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases find the support they need. Learn more about mesothelioma support group options below.
Looking for a mesothelioma support group near you? We can help, call (877) 450-8973
Medical, Financial, and Emotional Support Options for Mesothelioma Patients
Mesothelioma support is essential if you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness. There are many options, including support groups, financial aid, and medical treatments, that may be available to you.
A mesothelioma support group can provide crucial emotional and psychological help as well as insight into treatments and studies that you and your doctor may not have considered.
Mesothelioma support can also include financial assistance and help getting it. For example, married veterans with mesothelioma can receive up to $3,823.89 per month from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Healthcare services and additional mesothelioma compensation may be available too.
Mesothelioma support — like the support you can access for free from our team here at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center — can make a real difference, whether it’s medical, psychological, or financial. Learn more about mesothelioma support groups you can access in our Free Veterans Packet.
Get a FREE veterans packet to learn about mesothelioma support options that can help you and your family.
Medical Support Options for Mesothelioma
Outside of standard mesothelioma treatments, medical support services can also include ways to ease a patient’s symptoms and provide support for caregivers of mesothelioma patients.
Video Summary: Registered Nurse Amy Fair discusses the emotional stages that a patient may go through after getting a mesothelioma diagnosis. View Transcript
I’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, now what?
When someone’s first diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s not uncommon for them to go through the same stages that one goes through with a cancer diagnosis, because mesothelioma is a cancer.
Fear, anxiety, at one point they’ll go through acceptance, but all the stages are very important to go to just to get through to the acceptance point. All those other unfortunate feelings such as fear and anxiety are part of the process.
Medical support options for mesothelioma include:
Mesothelioma hospice care: This is reserved for terminally ill patients whose care is focused on improving their quality of life. Mesothelioma patients can get hospice care provided to them in their home, at a hospital, or at a special facility.
Hospice care services include the Hospice Foundation of America and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.
In-home nursing care: Being a mesothelioma caregiver can be stressful and time-consuming. An in-home nurse can ease the burden of caregiving, allowing caregivers to take care of day-to-day tasks — and themselves.
The VA provides Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care for qualifying veterans. Further, there are plenty of private in-home nursing services available for civilians.
Find out more about mesothelioma treatments and support options by calling (877) 450-8973 now.
Financial Support Options for Veterans and Families
A mesothelioma diagnosis can be an enormous financial strain. Not only are treatments expensive, but suffering from mesothelioma and dealing with the side effects of treatment can make it impossible to continue working.
You can reach out to your doctor, a medical social worker, or your hospital’s business office to find out about possible financial support options to cover treatment costs.
You may be able to access financial support through:
- American Cancer Society (ACS):. This organization offers free or subsidized medical equipment, budgeting guidance, and insurance explanations. You can learn if you’re eligible for support by visiting the ACS website.
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation): The mesothelioma experts at the Meso Foundation can provide support and information on a variety of financial issues related to treatment.
- Mesothelioma Research Foundation of America (MesoRFA): You can find a list of resources for financial assistance on MesoRFA’s site.
- National Cancer Information Center (NCIC): NCIC’s helpline — 800-227-2345 — is available 24/7 to provide information on programs in your area that help with expenses not covered by insurance.
Knowing there are several organizations that may be able to help is great, but it can also be overwhelming. You can chat with our team right now, and we can help you understand your options and find the help you need.
Support for Travel and Transportation Costs
Patients with mesothelioma may need to travel for medical care if they live far away from mesothelioma cancer centers. The VA and other programs can help mesothelioma patients travel for free or pay for travel costs.
Travel resources for mesothelioma patients include:
- Medical Transportation: Medicaid can cover travel to doctor’s appointments as a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit. Some private insurance may also cover NEMT, but be sure to check with your provider.
- Road to Recovery: Through this program, patients can get rides appointments related to their cancer from volunteers. This program is run by the ACS. Call 1-800-227-2345 to learn more.
- Travel Grants: The Meso Foundation can reimburse patients who are traveling to get a consultation from a mesothelioma doctor or those joining a clinical trial.
- VA Beneficiary Travel program: This program offers reimbursement to qualifying veterans and caregivers for travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments.
Mesothelioma Support Groups
Patients and their families can get involved with in-person, over-the-phone, and online mesothelioma support groups to better navigate life after a diagnosis.
In-Person Support Groups
In-person support groups can offer a more personal connection than phone or online groups.
You can find local support groups through:
- Cancer centers: In-person groups will likely be made up of people who are getting treated at the same cancer center. For example, Brigham and Women’s Hospital hosts a support group for those getting treated through its world-renowned International Mesothelioma Program.
- Community facilities: The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) notes that support groups may meet outside of hospitals in community gathering spaces. Check your local facilities to see if a cancer center may be meeting near you.
- Hospitals: General hospitals may host cancer support groups for patients. Joining a hospital support group may be a better option for patients that live far away from the nearest mesothelioma treatment center.
Please note that many in-person patient support groups may now meet virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients should check with the support group to confirm how they’re meeting and consult their care team before attending any in-person groups.
Phone Support Groups
Over-the-phone mesothelioma support groups are a great alternative for those who prefer speaking on the phone in the comfort of their own home.
Some phone support groups include:
- CanCare: This cancer support community is composed of volunteers who are cancer survivors and offers one-on-one support via phone, text, email, or in-person meetings.
- Cancer Support Helpline: This hotline can be used to get answers to questions, find out more about treatments and clinical trials, and explore other resources. Patients can also connect through online communities and chat options.
- The Meso Foundation: The foundation hosts several over-the-phone support groups that meet at different times each month.
- The Mesothelioma Veterans Center: The center provides information and resources about VA benefits to veterans and their families. You can call (877) 450-8973 to learn more and find a support group.
- The Veterans Crisis Line: While not a support group per se, the Veterans Crisis Line can help veterans and their families get vital aid. Veterans don’t need to have VA benefits to call this confidential line. Text and online chat options are also available.
Online Support Groups
Online mesothelioma support groups offer flexibility while still offering a sense of community.
Online mesothelioma support groups include:
- CancerCare: This organization hosts a wide range of online and video support groups for patients with many different types of cancer.
- Mesothelioma Straight Talk (General Discussion): Run by the Meso Foundation, this public Facebook group is open to anyone affected by mesothelioma, from patients to family and friends.
- Mesothelioma Straight Talk (Patient Support): This private Facebook group, hosted by the Meso Foundation, is exclusively for mesothelioma patients.
Some hospitals may also host their own support groups through online video apps like Zoom instead of meeting in person.
Mesothelioma Support Options for Veterans
Veterans account for roughly 1 out of every 3 mesothelioma cases diagnosed in the United States each year. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center can connect veterans to top mesothelioma support resources.
Our team can help you access:
- Financial Assistance: Our Patient Advocates and mesothelioma attorneys can help you pursue compensation from the makers of asbestos-based products if you qualify. Find out your eligibility now with one of our mesothelioma attorneys.
- Medical Resources: We have on-staff nurses who work with mesothelioma patients like you. They can answer questions about treatment options and help you get the care you need.
- Support Groups: Our team can help you find mesothelioma support groups that fit your needs.
- VA Benefits: If you’re a veteran with mesothelioma, you can pursue VA benefits with help from fellow veteran and VA-accredited lawyer Eric Hall.
Mesothelioma Support Groups and Organizations
Doctors, patients, loved ones, and advocates have created mesothelioma organizations to help others. These include the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation).
Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization
Founded in 2004, the ADAO is the largest independent, non-profit mesothelioma organization in the United States. It advocates for a ban on asbestos and its members work tirelessly to help mesothelioma patients.
Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation
The Meso Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and finding a cure for mesothelioma. It offers a wealth of mesothelioma support resources, like support networks for survivors and family, medical options, and travel grants.
To find other support organizations you can participate in or learn more about other support options, contact us today. Our team is ready to help support you and your loved ones.
FAQs About Mesothelioma Support Groups
How can I support someone diagnosed with mesothelioma?
If a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a great first step is to let the patient know that you will be there for them. If you’re a family member or caregiver, you may need to help the patient find cancer treatment options or apply for financial benefits.
Are mesothelioma support groups free?
Many mesothelioma support groups are free. That said, some may have limited spaces and require pre-registration.
Our team recommends calling ahead or emailing a support group’s point of contact to avoid any issues.
Why is it important to find support after a mesothelioma diagnosis?
Finding support after a mesothelioma diagnosis is crucial for many reasons. For starters, you can find a community of others that you can lean on for emotional support.
Mesothelioma support groups can also give you advice on managing different aspects of cancer care such as getting treatment, finding doctors, and paying for medical bills.
What are some mesothelioma support options for veterans?
Veterans with mesothelioma can find support after a mesothelioma diagnosis by applying for VA benefits. Many VA benefits can help veterans access medical care or pay for treatments.
Top VA benefits for veterans with mesothelioma include:
Ready to get started? Apply for VA benefits right now.