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"You have breast cancer." These are four of the most frightening words. Having breast cancer is a life-altering event. So, what do you do next? Below are five things to do after you’ve been diagnosed with cancer:
The most important thing to do is learn about your disease. You should learn terms such as tumor type, cancer stage and lymph node status.
There are many treatment options available for breast cancer. Learn the benefits and risks of each.
You should be comfortable with your choice of physician, therapy and treatment facility. A breast cancer second opinion ensures you are well educated about your choices and can feel confident in your decisions.
If you don’t understand something, raise your hand. If you are upset or have questions about your treatment, speak up. Your doctor has been doing this for some time, but this is likely your first time. If your doctor delivers your information too fast, slow him/her down. It’s more important that you are comfortable with what’s being said.
This may be the last thing you want to do after your breast cancer diagnosis, but it helps to talk about it. A cancer diagnosis can be a very lonely experience, but finding people in the same situation as you, or talking to someone who knows you best, will make the experience a lot less overwhelming and isolating.
From diagnosis to recovery, Mercy offers expert cancer care for all types and stages of breast cancer.