How can I help a patient or family that does not speak English?
Depending on what the language is, getting a translator may be a good option. Many hospitals in large cities keep a file of translators or services that can be called in for patient conferences or to help complete paperwork.
For the initial education, helping them locate a good website in their language can help get them started and lead to additional resources even if they are outside the USA. But if the patient doesn’t know how to search for mesothelioma or asbestos in their language then it may prove difficult to locate information. For example, the word for mesothelioma in Japanese sounds like “Chew-ish-shoo”.
If the patient and family speaks Spanish then they are in luck. There are a number of good web sites that are well-written in Spanish that can explain things just as well as the many English sites. One site we often refer people to is:
Que es Mesotelioma?
El mesotelioma es un tipo de cáncer que se desarrolla en los tejidos que revisten tres órganos del cuerpo humano: El tejido que envuelve los pulmones es llamado pleura, al tejido que reviste el abdomen es llamado peritoneo y en el caso del corazón…