What to Do Next: Suggestions for Women Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
Being diagnosed with breast cancer is often frightening and confusing. It is easy to feel lost in a world of unfamiliar medical terms and procedures. Questions about diagnosis, treatment, money, relationships, and quality of life can cause you worry and stress. Sometimes you don’t even know where to begin or what questions to ask. You are not alone in this journey. (This document was written by women who have gone through this experience.) By reading this, you are already taking the first steps toward recovery. The following pages contain ideas and tips that will hopefully make dealing with health care providers, hospitals, and your health easier and less intimidating for you and your loved ones.
The best thing that you can do for yourself now is to give yourself time to think about your options. You need not feel rushed into making decisions you are not comfortable with or do not fully understand. You have this time to gather information and make informed decisions. A few weeks most likely will not influence your treatment outcome, but it may make a huge difference in your state of mind. Your diagnosis will be presented to you with a series of choices; what matters is that you make the choices that are right for you. The process may seem overwhelming and leave you with a lot of uncertainty. You can ask people you trust to help you make the choices that lie ahead. You and your family or friends can become advocates by doing research and talking to experts. Breast Cancer Action (BCA) is one resource for you during this time.
- Visits to Your Health Care Provider
- Questions to Ask Your Health Care Provider
- Your Overall Health and Wellness
- Ask for Help
- Educate Yourself
- Glossary of Terms