Mesothelioma Support

Quick Summary

Mesothelioma patients and families can access support for the emotional, financial, and other difficulties that come with a diagnosis. Mesothelioma support options include in-person groups, VA benefits, end-of-life care, and more. Learn more about accessing support for mesothelioma.

Looking for a Mesothelioma support group near you? We can help, call (877) 450-8973

Types of Support Available for Mesothelioma

Dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis is never easy, but taking advantage of support resources can help ease the burden.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis Video Thumbnail

View 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.

Epithelioid mesothelioma prognosis can improve through:

  • Support Groups Support groups can help patients and families find hope from others affected by this devastating cancer.
  • Family Support Family members struggling to watch their loved one battle cancer may benefit from mesothelioma support groups designed for family and caregivers.
  • Veterans Support Options Veterans with mesothelioma can access financial and medical benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
  • Other Forms of Support In-home nurses, hospice care, financial resources, and travel services can help mesothelioma patients get the care they need.

Patients and families can access these support resources to reduce stress, afford medical care, and feel less alone after a cancer diagnosis.

For immediate help finding support resources, reach out to our team of Patient Advocates today at (877) 450-8973.

Mesothelioma Support Groups

Veterans and their families can search for in-person and online mesothelioma support groups to help them cope with the difficult feelings that often accompany a mesothelioma diagnosis.

While mesothelioma has unique challenges, general cancer support groups may be easier to find and provide many of the same benefits of a mesothelioma-specific group.

Why Join a Mesothelioma Support Group?

Life after a mesothelioma diagnosis can be very challenging. Mesothelioma support groups or cancer support groups can help patients and their family members find strength.

By joining a support group, patients can:

  • Get advice from doctors and other patients
  • Find community with others going through a similar experience
  • Feel more hopeful and improve quality of life
  • Get answers to questions they may have

Thanks to modern technology, patients and loved ones can find support whenever and wherever they want. Learn about the different types of mesothelioma support groups below.

In-Person Support Groups

In-person mesothelioma support groups offer a more personal connection than phone or online groups. These local groups will likely be made up of people who are being treated at the same cancer center.

Please note that many in-person support groups may be meeting virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check with the support group to confirm how they’re meeting, and consult your doctor before attending any in-person forms of support during this time.

Some local support groups include:

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital Mesothelioma Orientation Group

    • Location: Boston, MA
    • Meeting Times: Tuesdays 8:30 a.m – 10:30 a.m.
    • Meso Specialization: Yes

    This is an in-person support group for patients who have just been diagnosed with mesothelioma. The group is led by doctors, social workers, chaplain staff, and researchers.

  • CancerCare

    • Location: New York/New Jersey
    • Meeting Times: Various
    • Meso Specialization: No

    CancerCare is an organization that provides various support services to cancer patients and their caregivers, including in-person support. While they operate out of New York and New Jersey, they can also help you find face-to-face support in your area.

  • Cancer Support Community

    • Location: Various
    • Meeting Times: Various
    • Meso Specialization: No

    This non-profit organization provides patients and their loved ones with care information and a support network. They have over 170 locations nationwide and tailor support to your needs, offering in-person, online, or over-the-phone support.

Telehealth Support Groups

With phone support groups, travel is not necessary, and you can still get a sense of connection from speaking directly with others in real time. Depending on the phone support group, you can either speak with several group members at an appointed time or have one-on-one calls.

Need help connecting with a support group? Call us now to get connected. (877) 450-8973.

Some phone support groups include:

  • Cancer Support Helpline

    A general helpline for those who have cancer, this resource offers a toll-free 24/7 phone number for information and support.

  • 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.

Virtual Support Groups

Online mesothelioma support groups offer anonymity and flexibility while still giving participants a sense of community. With tools like social media, finding online mesothelioma support groups has never been easier.

Chat with us about information on virtual support groups.
Click to chat now

Virtual mesothelioma support groups include:

  • Cure Mesothelioma

    A public Facebook group by the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (Meso Foundation) for anyone affected by or seeking to help those with mesothelioma.

  • Warriors Voices

    A private Facebook group for mesothelioma patient support.

  • Caregiver Conversations

    A private Facebook group for mesothelioma caregivers.

Finding Mesothelioma Support Groups

Besides those listed above, there are many other mesothelioma support groups you can join. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can find the support group that’s right for you.

Look for a mesothelioma support group in the following ways:

  • Talk to your doctor or medical staff
  • Ask other patients at your treatment center
  • Check mesothelioma cancer center websites
  • Search online for mesothelioma support groups
A member of our team can also help find a group near you — and help you access other support options. If you or a loved one has mesothelioma, contact us now to start the process.

Mesothelioma Family and Caregiver Support

Support also exists for family members, friends, and caregivers of those diagnosed with mesothelioma. These groups not only provide emotional support: their members often share valuable resources on new treatments, mesothelioma doctors, and more.

Caregivers often forego their own needs to help a loved one with mesothelioma. This can cause overwhelming stress and harm physical and mental health, which often makes someone a less effective caregiver.

Support for caregivers includes:

  • Pacific Mesothelioma Center This group offers caregiver support groups that are conducted once a week over the phone
  • Meso Foundation This group offers Facebook groups for caregivers

Mesothelioma Support for Veterans

Veterans account for roughly 1 in 3 mesothelioma cases in the United States each year. Those who developed mesothelioma after being exposed to asbestos during military service may be eligible for benefits from the VA.

Veterans may be able to receive mesothelioma support from the following VA benefits:

To receive VA benefits for mesothelioma, veterans must provide their military service records and a statement from a doctor stating there is a connection between their cancer and their military service. Veterans must also have been dishonorably discharged.

Other Mesothelioma Support Options

Financial Support

  • CancerCare This organization offers financial assistance programs that help patients and their families pay for treatments. It also offers transportation, lodging, and pet assistance. Patients who want to apply for financial assistance must meet certain requirements.
  • Mesothelioma Law Firms These law firms specialize in helping victims of mesothelioma receive legal compensation. Mesothelioma lawyers can also help veterans track the history of their asbestos exposure as it relates to their mesothelioma.

Medical Support

Mesothelioma Hospice Care

Hospice care is typically end-of-life care that can be done at hospitals, special facilities, or at home. Mesothelioma hospice care is reserved for terminally ill patients whose care is focused on keeping them comfortable, both physically and emotionally.

Hospice care services include:

  • Hospice Foundation of America
  • National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

In-Home Nursing Care

Being a caregiver for someone with mesothelioma 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.

Travel and Transportation

Veterans with mesothelioma often need to travel for medical care if they are getting treatment at one of the few VA mesothelioma cancer centers in the country.

Travel and transportation expenses can quickly add up, especially if patients and their families must pay to stay near a hospital for weeks or months during mesothelioma treatment and recovery.

The VA and other programs provide transportation support for mesothelioma patients:

  • VA Beneficiary Travel program This program offers reimbursement to qualifying veterans and caregivers for travel expenses to and from approved health care appointments.
  • Paratransit Services If you are disabled, there are paratransit services that offer door-to-door transportation. You can look online or dial 211 to find these services.
  • Medical Transportation Medicaid covers travel to doctor’s appointments as a non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit. Some private insurances may also cover NEMT, but be sure to check with your provider.

Community Support

Community-based mesothelioma groups are composed of volunteers and everyday people who voice the concerns, triumphs, and latest news in the mesothelioma community.

Mesothelioma community support organizations include:

Mesothelioma Support Events

Mesothelioma patients, family members, advocates, and medical experts come together each year for events designed to raise money, build community, or highlight medical breakthroughs in treatment.

Notable mesothelioma-related events include:

  • International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma This multi-day conference covers new research into medical treatments, activism efforts, and other recent developments. Doctors, patients, and loved ones are all welcome to attend. This annual event went on hiatus in 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Mesothelioma Awareness Day Held each year on September 26, Mesothelioma Awareness Day honors those with this rare cancer. It is typically celebrated with regional events to raise money for the Meso Foundation and cancer research. In 2020, most in-person events turned into digital ones.
  • Global Asbestos Awareness Week Global asbestos awareness week is held annually from April 1-7th and is spearheaded by the ADAO. This week is used to spread the word about the dangers of asbestos and advocate for a total ban on its use.
  • Miles for Meso Miles for Meso is an annual 5K race that takes place in Alton, Illinois, to raise money for mesothelioma research and highlight the stories of survivors. It typically takes place in late September around Mesothelioma Awareness Day. The 2020 Miles for Meso race opted for a remote gathering, allowing participants to show their support by running or walking around their neighborhoods.

There are also many local and regional events to raise money for mesothelioma research that take place throughout the year.

Our Mesothelioma Support Options for Veterans

Knowing when, where, and how to access mesothelioma support options can be confusing — but help is available. The Mesothelioma Veterans Center has a wealth of resources available to connect veterans to the support they need.

Our team can help veterans with mesothelioma access:

  • Support Groups Our team can help you find mesothelioma support groups that fit your needs.
    Contact Us
  • VA Benefits Veterans with mesothelioma can pursue VA benefits with help from Eric Hall, a VA-accredited lawyer and veteran.
  • Financial Aid Our Patient Advocates can help veterans understand their financial options, such as waivers, vouchers, and legal options for compensation.
  • Medical Resources We have on-staff nurses who specifically work with mesothelioma patients. These nurses can answer questions about treatment options and working with care teams. Chat and get connect with our nursing staff. Click to Chat Now

For immediate help finding support resources, reach out to our team of Patient Advocates today at (877) 450-8973.

Veterans Support Team
Todd Gersten, MD PhotoReviewed by:Todd Gersten, MD

Double Board-Certified Oncologist and Hematologist

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Todd Gersten, MD is a double board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist specializing in general adult oncology and hematologic disease. He is a physician partner with the Florida Cancer Specialists and practices in Wellington, Florida.

Dr. Todd Gersten is an independently paid medical reviewer.

Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.

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