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Use Your Learning Style to Better Understand Mesothelioma


When diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, patients and families are often entering into a new area of information. This area is complete with its own medical language, long words, and answers that are individualized and can be confusing. When gathering the information to make those important decisions regarding your health, and the course you want to choose for treatment, it is important to understand the information you are hearing and reading about.

Over the years, the approach of the medical team towards patients has changed. It used to be one of “these are your instructions, this is what the doctor ordered.” Meaning it was more do what you are told to do, and do not question your medical team. The doctor was in charge and patients and the medical staff followed orders. This approach no longer works – if it ever did.

What works is the team working with the patient, and the patient‘s family, to support whatever decisions he/she makes. The patient is the manager of his or her own life – in charge of the medical decisions, based on the understanding of the medical condition. How do you make these life-altering decisions? These days most people will turn to Google. Is this the best way for you to learn new information?  Is reading the information enough for you?

Do you know how you best learn new information?  Here are a few different learning styles:

  • Visual: You learn by sight with images, pictures, colors, or spatial organization of elements.
  • Auditory: You learn by listening, speaking, sound, or rhythm.
  • Reading / Writing: You learn best by reading the material, or writing the material down.
  • Kinesthetic: You move your body to help you learn like tapping your toes or using your hands, including writing or drawing. You basically use your sense of touch.

We all learn in our own unique way, and when it comes to dealing with your malignant mesothelioma treatment, it is vital that you understand and comprehend your options.

You might think that your learning style has nothing to do with the diagnosis and treatment of a rare cancer such as mesothelioma. It does. Over the years many patients have not “heard” or understood what the doctor said. It is difficult to keep all the terms, and options straight. By knowing how you learn, you can then question the doctor and have a better chance of understanding.

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