Diagnosed with Cancer? Your two greatest challenges are understanding cancer and understanding possible side effects from chemo and radiation.  Knowledge is Power!

Learn about conventional, complementary, and integrative therapies.

Dealing with treatment side effects? Learn about evidence-based therapies to alleviate your symptoms.

Click the orange button to the right to learn more.

Newly-diagnosed Cancer- First Steps

Share Button

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:

  1. Seek a Second Opinion: It’s often recommended to get a second opinion from another qualified oncologist. This can provide you with additional perspectives and treatment options.
  2. Gather Information: Learn as much as you can about your specific type of cancer. Understand the stage, potential treatment options, and possible side effects.
  3. Select a Treatment Team: Choose a team of healthcare professionals, including an oncologist, surgeon, radiologist, and other specialists as needed. Ensure they have experience in treating your type of cancer.
  4. Develop a Treatment Plan: Work closely with your medical team to create a personalized treatment plan. This may involve surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these.
  5. Discuss Treatment Goals: Have a candid conversation with your healthcare team about your treatment goals. This could be focused on curing the cancer, controlling it, or managing symptoms if a cure isn’t possible.
  6. Explore Supportive Care Options: Consider incorporating supportive care into your treatment plan, which can include palliative care, pain management, and emotional support.
  7. Address Financial and Practical Concerns: Understand the financial aspects of your treatment, including insurance coverage, out-of-pocket costs, and potential resources for financial assistance. Additionally, consider how treatment may impact your daily life and make any necessary arrangements.
  8. Maintain Open Communication: Keep the lines of communication open with your healthcare team. Ask questions, express concerns, and provide feedback about your treatment experience.
  9. Take Care of Your Overall Health: Eat a balanced diet, engage in light exercise (if possible and approved by your doctor), get enough rest, and manage stress as best as you can. This can help support your body during treatment.
  10. Lean on Your Support System: Surround yourself with a supportive network of family and friends. They can provide emotional, practical, and logistical support during this challenging time.
  11. Seek Emotional Support: Consider joining a cancer support group, speaking with a therapist, or finding other outlets to express your feelings and concerns.

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.peoplebeatingcancer@gmail.com

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

6 things to do after a cancer diagnosis

“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….



Leave a Comment: