If you have received a diagnosis of breast cancer, your mind is probably spinning with unanswered questions and concerns. Knowing what to expect, learning about your treatment options and how to proceed through this difficult time can make living with your breast cancer diagnosis a little easier. Feeling anxious, overwhelmed and afraid are all completely normal feelings. The following suggestions provided by the caring professionals at Women’s Imaging Specialists can help you cope with your diagnosis and get you through the days, weeks and months ahead.
Tips to Coping With the Emotional Stages of Your Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Once you receive your results, write down a list of questions along with your concerns and bring them with you to your doctor’s appointment. Questions you will need to consider asking include:
• What type of breast cancer do I have?
• Has my cancer spread?
• Can my breast cancer by treated and what are my treatment options?
• What other tests or procedures will I need?
• Can my breast cancer by cured?
• What treatment options are available to me?
• What can I expect during my treatment?
• What are the side effects of my treatment?
It is often beneficial to bring a family member or trusted friend with you to your first few doctor’s appointments to take notes and help you process and understand the information that your doctor has shared with you.
Open Communication With Physician & Family
It is important to keep lines of communication open with both your doctor and your loved ones after a diagnosis of breast cancer. If you are able to talk openly and honestly, you and your support team can gain strength from one and another as well as maintaining a positive outlook.
Anticipating Physical Breast Cancer Changes
Before beginning your treatment is the best time to prepare yourself for any physical changes. By preparing now, you will be able to cope once the changes begin. Talk to your doctor about any changes that you should be expecting from your treatment protocols such as hair loss. Also discuss how your treatment may impact your ability to perform daily activities.
Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle
Choosing a healthy diet can improve your energy levels and getting plenty of rest will help you manage the stress and fatigue of cancer treatment protocols. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will also help you cope with the emotional response to your breast cancer and treatment.
Let Your Family & Close Friends Help You!
Your family and friends can provide you with assistance by preparing meals, providing transport and taking care of errands. Allow your family and friends to make a contribution. Your breast cancer diagnosis affects those around you and an invaluable part of your treatment and healing process includes accepting help when you need it.
Join a Breast Cancer Support Forum or Group
It’s not unusual to feel completely alone, even when surrounded by loved ones. You may feel that those around you can’t fully understand how you are feeling. It can be beneficial to talk to other women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer survivors can share their own experiences and help you understand what you can expect during your treatment. Talk to you doctor about support groups or contact the American Cancer Society for information.
Strategies for Coping With Breast Cancer
Each person has a different way of coping. Some ideas to help you develop your own strategy include:
• Practicing relaxation techniques
• Sharing your feelings with family, friends or support groups
• Keeping a daily journal to write down your thoughts and fears
• Seeking spiritual support
• Setting aside some time to be alone when you need it
• Participating in activities that you enjoy and trying new things
2D & 3D Mammograms & Ultrasounds for Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Athens-Oconee, Watkinsville & Eagles Landing, Stockbridge, Georgia
The best way to protect your health and the possibility of being diagnosed with breast cancer is through early detection. For more information regarding 3D mammograms and ultrasounds contact the knowledgeable experts at Women’s Imaging Specialists today!
About the author: Raja P. Reddy, MD is a board certified diagnostic radiologist specializing in breast imaging. He is also a contributing editor for Women’s Imaging Specialists, a leading provider of outpatient women’s imaging services in the greater Atlanta, GA area.
Women’s Imaging Specialists offers Mammograms and Ultrasounds at locations in Athens, GA; Cumming, GA; Dublin, GA; Eagles Landing, GA; Fairhope, AL; Gulf Shores, Al; Gwinnett, GA; Monroe, GA; and Warner Robins, GA.