These are three of the most frightening words. Having 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:
Understand your diagnosis. 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.
Know your treatment options. There are many treatment options available for breast cancer. Learn the benefits and risks of each.
Get a second opinion. You should be comfortable with your choice in physician, therapy and treatment facility. A second opinion ensures you are well educated about your choices and can feel confident in your decisions.
Ask questions. 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.
Get social. This may be the last thing you want to do after your 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.