If you’re newly diagnosed with cancer, you may be feeling overwhelmed and scrambling to understand your diagnosis. As with any major life transition or a new challenge, it’s important to receive support from loved ones and professionals who can help ease the burden of the diagnosis. However, it’s also crucial for you to be aware of people’s most common mistakes after a cancer diagnosis. It’s easy to make these errors, especially if you’re not used to dealing with a medical diagnosis. These mistakes can slow potential cancer treatments and lead to poor medical outcomes.
1. Not Receiving a Second Opinion
Diagnosis is not a black and white process. A physician might suggest possible diagnoses, but sometimes the diagnosis is made after additional testing has been done or based on a second opinion. A second opinion is essential for reassurance and can help you make an informed decision about your cancer care. You must receive a second opinion if you have doubts about your original diagnosis.
2. Assuming the Worst Possible Outcome
Cancer may be scary, but it’s not necessarily fatal. It’s essential to have realistic expectations about your prognosis but don’t assume the worst. Cancer is a multifaceted disease, and many factors affect a person’s outcome. These factors include the type of cancer and its stage, your overall health and age, and the provider treating you. Treatments have improved significantly in recent years, so it’s important not to assume that all diagnoses lead to death.
3. Not Having Affairs in Order
Your work, legal, financial, and other personal affairs will likely be impacted by cancer. Make sure you’ve taken care of your affairs in these areas. You can do this with the help of a lawyer and possibly an accountant. The sooner you prepare for the future, the easier it will be emotionally and financially. If you have insurance, consult with your carrier to see if special provisions are in place to help you deal with a cancer diagnosis.
4.Not Seeking the Best Medical Treatment
Your doctor and other healthcare professionals should be your guides in searching for a diagnosis and treatment plan. You might find it helpful to ask a trusted friend or family member who has been diagnosed with cancer, too, for advice on how to best approach the situation. The best medical treatment may mean different things for different people, so you must explore all your options thoroughly.
5. Not Considering Next Generation Sequencing
Next generation sequencing is a relatively new technology used in the analysis of DNA. It can identify genetic mutations in cancer cells and predict recurrence, response to treatment, next generation treatment, and other clinical parameters. Additionally, it can predict the effectiveness of the therapy of certain drugs. It is also part of a personalized medicine approach and may thus prove helpful in getting a more accurate picture of your overall health. Side effects are extremely rare and occur in less than 0.1% of cases.
In conclusion, do not let yourself be overwhelmed by the diagnosis. You are in a safe place with physicians and other healthcare professionals who can help you seek and find the best treatment options. Remember to review your medical records, schedule checkups, and get second opinions if they are needed. Cancer is a condition that can be conquered with the help of modern medicine, and you mustn’t let a diagnosis paralyze you. Know your options, and be sure to put in the best effort possible to maintain a high quality of life.