Everything You Need To Know About Cancer Diagnosis But Were Too Afraid To Ask
A cancer diagnosis can be incredibly scary – not to mention life-changing. And when you have to go for that chat with your doctor, your mind will be full of thoughts and fears. But what can you expect from a diagnosis, and how will you react? No one can tell you either of those things, alas – you just won’t know until they happen. But we have pulled together some info based on the experiences of people with cancer to reveal some of the common things that could crop up. Let’s take a look.
Hearing the C word
Hearing that you have cancer of any kind can cause you a lot of worries. However, try to listen to your doctor as much as you possibly can. Sure, it’s going to be tough – particularly when your head is swimming. But at this point, it’s important to understand how the cancer is taking hold and to listen to all of your options. It’s also best to bring someone with you when it‘s time to hear your results. Bring someone reliable that can help you piece together and remember what the doctor has told you.
The second opinion
With minor cancers – such as that of the skin – you may not have to see an oncologist. But in most cases, you will be assigned a disease specialist. Don’t feel that you have to accept them, however, and looking for a second opinion is entirely reasonable. However, don’t go around searching for the words you want to hear – the view of 2-3 experts is more than enough. It will just be a waste of your time, which could be spent better-getting treatment.
Cancer treatment is always progressing and evolving, and surgery is no longer the primary method of therapy. Some interesting developments are going on in many different areas right now, from personalized genomics to cancer xenografts – implanting cancerous tissues into rodents – for example. The point is that it is vital for you to explore all options before making a treatment decision, and to listen to your doctor about their thoughts on the right choice.
Learn about your disease
You will be surprised at how much you learn about your illness – you will become an expert in some areas. Many cancer patients find that this new knowledge drives them on, and grows them as a person. It’s also important to learn about the side effects. Many cancer treatments can take their toll on your body – chemotherapy gives you radiation sickness, for example. Knowing the consequences of the disease – and the treatment you are getting – will serve you well.
Talk to your family
Your family – and friends – can have an enormous role to play in your fight against cancer. However, at times they will overwhelm you with their efforts – whether through finding out research or offering more help than you genuinely need. Bear in mind, though, that there is a correlation between friends and family, and cancer survival. They give you hope, help, and can encourage you to keep going when times are rough. And that’s worth a little overwhelming, in our opinion.