January 20, 2014 | by Tami Dennis
A cancer diagnosis can leave patients overwhelmed, not only afraid for themselves and their loved ones but also confused about what to do next.
Cy Stein, M.D., Ph.D., the Arthur & Rosalie Kaplan Chair in Medical Oncology at City of Hope, offers this advice to people confronting a cancer diagnosis:
1. If you receive a cancer diagnosis, the first thing to remember is not to panic.
2. Do some research, but don't believe everything you read on the Internet.
3. Remember that prognoses are actuarial; they apply to large numbers of patients but not to you as a single individual.
4. Find a doctor who knows your type of cancer well, and who is knowledgeable about recent developments – for some types of cancer, treatments have changed dramatically over the past very few years.
5. Make sure that whatever doctor you choose answers all your questions in a way that you can understand. If not, hold that doctor's feet to the fire or get another doctor.
6. Trust in your health care providers and in your ability to get better. All of us in this business have seen positive things that weren't supposed to happen, but did.
7. If you ask yourself: "Why me?" then also ask: "Why shouldn't it be me who recovers?" **
City of Hope’s physicians and caregivers specialize in guiding patients – and their families – through all stages of cancer treatment and recovery. For more about City of Hope, visit www.cityofhope.org.