What to Do (and Know) Following a Cancer Diagnosis

Millions of men and women will receive a horrifying cancer diagnosis at one point or another in their lives. To make things worse, these often come with little to no warning. Here’s a bit of advice on some things you should do following being diagnosed with cancer, in no particular order.

Learn About Treatment Options

When you’re discussing options for treatment with your doctor, you need to understand that cancer treatments are constantly evolving. Traditionally, the mainstays of treatment has been surgery and chemotherapy or radiation, and you can now also go to a Mexico cancer treatment center for alternative treatments too. 

Recently, there’s been a movement towards operations that aren’t as extensive to treat cancer when surgery IS required too.

Know the Details

When you’re diagnosed with cancer, there’s a lot to process and some of it may be superfluous or useless at this point – for example, it’s a bit too late to learn how to reduce your risk for cancer, and that information, if you’re able to process it, will only lead to self-recrimination. 

What can help is to know the details of your diagnosis. Find out the cancer’s name, where it is located, and the size of it. Learn where it began and whether or not it’s spread. Is it an aggressive type or one that takes its time? These types of things are helpful to know. Learn the helpful things and process that information before finding out anything else.

Get Second Opinions

When it comes to a diagnosis of cancer, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion. You might want to get this from someone based out of a specialized cancer center. In Houston, the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center might have an expert who treats the particular type of cancer you have.

The National Cancer Institute also has treatment centers. You can find these in many states around the country. Generally, they’re part of a large medical center or a university. Make sure you find a trusted physician. Check out online reviews and ask the people you know if they have any recommendations, as well. 

Read Up on Treatment Side Effects

When going over treatment options with your doctor, realize that treatments tend to be accompanied by side effects. Understand which ones you should be expecting as well as what the benefits are to each form of treatment. That information is necessary because you’ll need to determine how willing you are to deal with side effects in order to obtain the benefits of treatments. 

Goals for various types of therapy can vary greatly and you’re the only one who can decide which side effects you’ll be able to deal with in order to reach your health goals

Review Doctor Qualities

When you’re looking for a doctor, you obviously want one who’s good at his job. However, it’s also important to find one who listens to any concerns you might have. This will make it easier for you to ask them questions. You also need to find one who will take the time to explain things to you in a way that you can understand both your prognosis and your treatment options. On top of that, you’ll want that ever-elusive quality of chemistry – meaning one who understands you. If your current doctor doesn’t, you need to find one who does.

Don’t Always Listen to Family and Friends

Finally, realize that while your family and friends want what’s best for you, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by their efforts at research. They can also be more than a bit aggressive when it comes to various treatments when they don’t completely understand outcomes and side effects. Know that while they make a great support network, which is vital, it’s ok to occasionally send them away so you can rest and regroup.