Newly-diagnosed cancer can be overwhelming. I know because I’ve been there. I pride myself on being a long-term cancer survivor who has lived through conventional, non-conventional, alternative and evidence-based non-conventional therapies. Oh yeah. And I made lots of mistakes along the way.
My purpose in life these days is to help cancer patients and survivors. So here are some basic first steps. I’m not a doctor, but I can offer some general advice that newly diagnosed cancer patients may find helpful. It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. That said, here are some important first steps for newly diagnosed cancer patients:
Remember, every individual’s situation is unique. It’s crucial to consult with your healthcare team for guidance tailored to your specific diagnosis and circumstances. They can provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding your condition and treatment options.
Have you been diagnosed with cancer? What type? What stage? What are your goals?
Let me know, thanks. David.firstname.lastname@example.org
“The test results are back. You’ve talked to the doctor and learned you have cancer.
Whether it’s your first cancer diagnosis or your fifth, your reaction to a new cancer diagnosis often comes down to a single question: What do I do now?
Step 1: Get the facts about your cancer diagnosis
The first thing to do after a cancer diagnosis is gather information. Find out exactly what type of cancer you have and how advanced it is. Ask where the cancer is located in your body and whether it’s considered rare or common, fast- or slow-growing. The answers to these questions will help you make informed decisions about your treatment…
Step 2: Explore your treatment options
Once you have an accurate diagnosis, ask your doctor what your treatment options are — and which ones might work best for you…
Step 3: Seek multidisciplinary care
When you’re being treated for cancer, the last thing you want to have to worry about is whether your medical oncologist, radiation oncologist and surgical oncologist are all on the same page. That’s why it’s important to seek treatment at a cancer center like MD Anderson, where specialists from multiple disciplines work together to manage your care…
Step 4: Define your deal-breakers
Cancer treatment and its side effects can have a big impact on your life. That’s why it’s important to identify any non-negotiables. Your doctors can take those into account when making treatment recommendations.
In the case of vocal cord cancer, for instance, a truck driver and an opera singer might have very different goals…
Step 5: Share your goals with your doctor
If you have specific goals when it comes to your cancer and treatment, share those with your doctor.
“I want to know patients’ future plans, hopes and dreams,” says Hanna. “What are they trying to accomplish with their treatment?”
Often, he says, patients will mention specific events they’d like to live long enough to witness, such as a child’s graduation or marriage or the birth of a first grandchild…
Step 6: Set up your support system
Once you’ve worked with your care team to choose the treatment option that’s right for you, set up your support system.
This could be as simple as scheduling regular phone dates with friends to ease your anxiety and get encouragement. Or, it might involve asking for help with housework and childcare during treatment, or recruiting someone to share updates with loved ones….