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Breast Cancer

7 Things to do after you’ve been diagnosed of cancer

Dr. Lala .A.

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You’ve Been Told You Have Cancer. What Next?

1. Educate Yourself
1. First, collect the facts. This begins with your doctor. Ask lots of questions.
2. Find out where the cancer started and if it spread to your lymph nodes or other parts of your body.
3. Find out which stage it’s in. The lower the number, the less it has spread.
4. Learn more about the type of cancer you have:
-Can it be cured?
-Does it grow quickly or slowly?
-What are the treatments?
-Will I have side effects from treatment?
5. Create a File
Pick up a three-ring binder and collect every piece of critical information pertaining to your case, Include things like your lab reports, notes about your surgery, and results of scans and blood tests. Bring it to every appointment.

2.Get a Second Opinion
You may feel funny about asking for one, but most doctors recommend it, and some health insurance companies say you need to do it.
A second opinion can help you understand your situation and give you a better sense of control.
Try to go to a different type of specialist.

3.Decide on Treatment
Once you know the facts, like the type of cancer and what stage it’s in, you’ll be ready to work with your doctor on a treatment plan.
Treatments can have side effects. Your doctor will help you weigh the pros and cons so you can decide what’s best for you.

4.Get Care From a Group of Experts
Most cancers should be treated by a team, which is made up of specialists who will handle different parts of your care and work together.
If you live close to a cancer center, go there. These centers are often most up-to-date on the latest research and clinical trials.

5.Be Part of the Team
You’re a key part of the group that treats you. Ask questions. Learn about your options. If you don’t feel comfortable or your doctor doesn’t listen to your concerns, find another one.
Ask a friend or family member to go with you to appointments. They can help if you find it hard to focus and remember details.

6.Talk to Family and Friends
Who to tell and when to do it are personal decisions.
You may think hiding it will protect people close to you, but that doesn’t always work. They may suspect something’s wrong. When they find out, they may be upset that you kept it secret.
Knowing the truth removes a lot of tension and everyone gets on the same page. This is one of the most important moments in your life. This is the time for friends and family.
You may think you need to be strong and handle things on your own. But make sure you reach out to those who love you to get the emotional backing you need. “Support matters,” Research has documented this.

7. Join A Support Group
You may also want to join a support group. You’ll meet people who understand just what you’re going through, and they can give you advice about how they manage things. Many groups are virtual and online, so you can participate from the comfort of your home and office. There are even groups for most every kind of cancer on Facebook.
A therapist or cancer coach can help you work through your feelings and get through your treatment. Your doctor or hospital can help you find one.
Based on the story of a cancer survivor.

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.