Diagnosis: Cancer. What now?
What an emotional time this is. When a diagnosis, any diagnosis comes, patient’s sentiments will range from anger to hopelessness, to depression. The most important thing to remember is that you are the biggest part of your cancer care team.
Talk about what treatment options are best for you. Don’t just ask one person. Don’t hold your questions in. Your understanding of what lies ahead is the first step to reaching a treatment plan. Your choices are important, and they should happen with as much information possible.
What is my treatment goal?
According to the American Cancer Society, “Before starting treatment, ask about the goal of treatment. Is the purpose of the treatment to cure the cancer, control it, or treat problems it’s causing? This is a key part of the decision making process. Sometimes the goal of treatment can change over time.
Staging is the process of finding out how much cancer there is and how far it has spread. There are three key areas:
- The size and spread of the main tumor, and whether it has reached nearby tissues and organs.
- How far the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
- Whether the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.
Once these components are analyzed, your provider will rate the stage of the cancer, zero through four. (Zero being the least, four being creates.)
Remember, ask questions. Know that you are the biggest part of the process. Understand your diagnosis and treatment. And prepare for the time to come.
Connect with Your Nurse Navigator
A cancer diagnosis is emotional and can be overwhelming for both you and your family. Memorial Healthcare now offers patients a Nurse Navigator to help answer questions, help schedule necessary appointments, and become your partner in your treatment journey.