Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis
The first step to dealing with a cancer diagnosis is to get the facts. Learn about your type of cancer and potential treatment options so that you have an accurate picture of the illness and how it will affect your life. Some questions you may ask are:
- Where did this cancer start?
- Is it aggressive or slow-growing?
- What are potential treatments, their success rates, and their side effects?
When facing an important medical appointment, it is a good idea to bring someone with you. Choose someone you are comfortable with and who you trust, and rely on that person for the support you need. Often, a very large amount of important information is given at one time is such an appointment, and it helps to have someone with you who can help you keep the facts and ask the right questions.
It never hurts to get a second opinion. You may want to seek a doctor who specializes in treating your type of cancer to get more detailed information about your particular case. Don’t, however, invest the time in visiting too many doctors who may tell you the same thing. At some point, you need to accept your diagnosis and focus on your treatment plan.
When researching cancer treatment after a recent diagnosis, it is vitally important that you work with the right doctor for you. Your doctor needs to be able to listen to your concerns and explain your situation and treatment options in a way you can understand. Your cancer doctor needs to be someone you feel entirely comfortable with, as you will be spending a significant amount of time discussing intimately personal details with this person.
Once you have found the right doctor, it’s time to come up with a treatment plan. This is a good time to do some research, as cancer treatment is always evolving and there may be a number of different options available to you. Some possible treatment options for cancer patients include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Learn about how each of these treatments will or will not combat your cancer and what side effects you can expect during each step of your unique treatment plan.
Finally, one of the most important things you can do during the time that immediately follows a cancer diagnosis is to share your concerns, needs, and plans with the people closest to you. A cancer diagnosis is a frightening time in any person’s life, but a strong support system of medical professionals, friends, and family can help patients find comfort and hope.