A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and life-changing, but the more you learn about it the better you can manage it. You will want to learn all you can about the diagnosis and treatment options before making any decisions. That ensures you will receive the best care and often also helps you feel more in control and at ease.
While there is a wealth of information about cancer available, you need to make sure you are getting accurate and updated information from oncology professionals and from survivors for the patient perspective. Take a look at the following guide so you know where to go for those resources.
When you get a cancer diagnosis you will almost certainly feel anxious and confused. You are probably wondering what treatment will be like and the outcome. However, there are things that you can do to ease your fears and prepare for treatment.
Educating yourself will help you feel more empowered. In fact, many people with cancer learn as much as possible about the diagnosis, treatment benefits, and risks before making any major decisions. Learn as much as you can about the specific type of cancer you are facing.
When you learn more, you will be able to understand relevant medical terms, arrive at appointments with the right questions prepared, and have a better idea of what to expect.
Treatment and research
Knowing about the different treatment options available is key in making the best decision about how you will proceed. Your current doctor might present a standard treatment initially, but it is important to find out what other new treatments are available.
New research findings and treatment options are being released and discovered frequently. If you feel strongly about getting a new treatment, then ask your oncologist about it. Make sure that you have a physician who shares your views when it comes to treatment.
Keep in mind that cancer treatment requires careful management over time, so you want an oncology team with your best interests very much at heart with staff members that make you feel comfortable.
You might like to meet oncologists and their team before starting treatment. Look for an oncology team that shares your vision of treatment and compassionate staff who will be there for you every step of the way.
Ask your oncologist if they have a personalized navigator or care coach to help you through the entire process. Your insurance company or a special non-profit organization might be able to offer someone like a nurse consultant to keep your care on track.
Getting the latest information
Gathering online information can be tricky, but it can be an excellent way to learn if you are referencing the right resources. You might be surprised to learn that oncology professionals collaborate on cancer research and treatment on social media sites. Oncologists can present ground-breaking research study information to a large group of followers on Twitter to get valuable information out to the public quickly.
Get the latest information on cancer treatment and research at the Oncotarget Twitter account. It is an excellent resource that provides scientific results and new discoveries as soon as they are available.
You can stay informed about the latest cancer news by searching social media websites for hashtags. For example, the hashtag for lung cancer is #LCSM and the hashtag for pediatric cancer is #PedCSM.
Whether you are facing a common type of cancer or a type that is uncommon, know that you are not alone. Seek out uplifting stories of survivors. Hearing positive survivor stories provides hope of a positive outcome. This will give you an idea of the journey that they have been through, what treatment they found useful, and what gave them strength.
Remember that emotional struggles during a serious illness are normal and should be seen as worthy of treatment. Many people who have received a cancer diagnosis work through the difficult situation with a licensed therapist. You might not realize how much a difficult diagnosis can affect your mood and relationships until you discuss it with a mental health expert.
Support groups can be a great source of help. While others battling the same issue might not have medical expertise or the ability to offer professional counseling, they can offer emotional support. Ask your local hospital or clinic if they can put you in touch with a local support group. If none are available in your area or you would rather not meet in person, then you might like to seek out support groups online.
From learning about the latest cancer research and treatment to getting emotional support, there is so much that you can do to have a better experience while fighting cancer. Hopefully with these resources and tips you will be on the path to learning and healing.