Throughout her career, Dr. Heather Wakelee says that she has tried her best not to answer the question, “What would you do?” She tries not to pretend to understand a patient’s unique situation.
If she were to answer this question, she would answer it in the context of being a mother of young children. She can only imagine what being diagnosed with mesothelioma as a senior citizen would be like, and she recognizes each individual’s goals of care are different.
When Dr. Heather Wakelee speaks with patients about chemotherapy, they tell her how it has not been easy.
Dr. Wakelee serves as an assistant professor of medicine for Stanford University. She has written, studied, and spoken extensively on non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Wakelee has also written reports on why females tend to have better survival outcomes. Some of the big differences attributed to sex come down to biology, susceptibility, and response to treatment.
When Dr. Wakelee speaks with patients about chemotherapy, they tell her how it has not been easy. While most people can get through the treatment, many of them struggle with the pain it causes them. Dr. Wakelee tells her patients that other options may be more appealing than chemotherapy. Everyone should take the time to look at the options available to them. Chemotherapy usually lowers the chance of cancer remission by five to ten percent.
Dr. Heather Wakelee believes that people diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare disease that arises from exposure to asbestos, will feel vulnerable and hopeless. Dr. Wakelee emphasizes you do not have to feel that way. Through her clinical practice, you can receive all the care that you need.