Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake: Mesothelioma Specialty Care Team

In this region, this is a heavily industrialized region, lots of workers still in their 70s and 80s who worked in the shipyards and in that asbestos exposure You're exposed in the prime of your life your late teens, early twenties on the job and here you are 30, 40, 50 years later with the disease that

It's frightening It's an absolutely frightening diagnosis Our location makes mesothelioma a vital issue so we're in a prime location for a mesothelioma Center because a lot of patients in our system have had asbestos exposure

Mesothelioma just in and of itself is a cancer of the lining of certain body cavities so it can affect the abdominal lining, the heart lining, as well as the lung lining People who are most at risk or people who have had exposure to asbestos and the reason for that is they inhale asbestos particles the body creates an inflammatory response to those asbestos particles over years and years of time and eventually a lot of people undergo malignant degeneration of those inflammatory areas I got to where I couldn't even bend over because I would get dizzy and want to fall out After that we needed help Once we got with Dr

Cassidy and she did the biopsy and we found out it was Mesothelioma Well It just

we were in shock I don't know I didn't know what to do It's not a common disease, but it's a devastating disease and it is a very, very complex treatment algorithm, treatment strategy

The lung multidisciplinary care team really developed out of necessity As care becomes more complex it needs to become more coordinated Each patient and each case of mesothelioma that we're seeing is presented to physicians of multiple different specialties We're able to meet regularly and collaborate on patient care even outside of those meetings because we're all located here at Mary Bird Perkins We're able to discuss patients as we see them, as issues come up, as plans change or treatments are being undergone and for patients who really prioritize being near their family, friends and support system I think this is a really good option for them specifically to be able to stay close to home and be able to undergo the same treatment that they would get elsewhere right here in their own hometown

Our patient navigators are specially trained and specially skilled at being able to sort of speak the language of physicians, understand the language and plans of physicians and translate that into relatable language that the patient can easily understand not only that but they really stay on top of patients as far as making sure they get to their appointments if there's transportation issues the navigator has direct lines to all of the care team I would recommend anyone to stay here at home The care is excellent We have multiple expert minds who sit in a room and talk about your problem, talk about you specifically and come up with the best diagnostic and treatment strategy for you That really is where we can deliver personalized care

We want people in the Gulf South to know that we are here, we're available, we have a multidisciplinary care team who is experienced with treating this complicated disease process and providing an individualized treatment plan closer to home you

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