“You are diagnosed with cancer” – these words are mind shattering, terrible and difficult to identify and honor in the beginning. Not to mention, dealing with emotions is not easy and mental health also takes a toss. Beyond the emotional chaos that convoys with cancer, patients also develop a necessity to devise a plan to live and fight cancer. However, many patients often enter a ‘shock phase’ and are unable to take control of the situation.
But then, one has to take control of the feelings, absorb the situation and act towards fighting the disease like a hero, rather than surrendering to despair.
Get Informed About the Disease
Cancer is a deadly disease in which cells divide uncontrollably and abnormally. There are more than 200 types of cancers that can affect humans. So, after a diagnosis, the first thing to do is to get in-depth information about the disease from an oncologist. The suggestion is to ask as many questions that strike the mind. Some of the common questions include:
- What are the available treatment options and their success rate?
- What is the location and stage of cancer?
- Will the treatment show any side effects?
- What lifestyle changes one needs to make?
- Can treatment fully cure cancer?
- What are the chances of survival?
Learning more about the disease will help plan the next steps.
Seek Second Opinion
It is indeed hard to digest the fact that one is diagnosed with cancer and make decisions about the treatment options. Having said that, the treatment options are continually getting better and a second opinion may help find an oncologist who specializes in the cancer type. The truth is that all good physicians encourage second opinions, as nothing should stand in the way of receiving care that improves the quality of life while increasing the lifespan.
Seeking a second opinion also holds importance as most cancer insurance policy providers ask for a documented second opinion before they pay for the treatment. Insurance providers mostly have a panel of doctors one is required to choose from for a second opinion.
Find Emotional Support
The experience of cancer is a stressful one, without a doubt. While life partner, friends and family members are a great source of support, various support groups provide a safe platform to learn from others while sharing experiences with those facing similar obstacles. Support groups can effectively reduce stress, anxiety and emotional distress while improving mood and offering greater quality of life. Oncologists recommend finding emotional support in someone with whom one can talk openly about the things going on in the mind about this serious illness.
Maintain a File
One of the most significant things to do after a cancer diagnosis is to get organised by maintaining a file about all the appointments, critical information related to the case, lab reports (scans and blood tests) and questions to ask the doctor on the next visit. Taking down all the questions that come to the mind during the treatment is vital to take control of the situation. This file will come handy and become a guide to any new oncologist who takes over the case or becomes a part of it.
Know the Limitations
There is a drastic change in life after a cancer diagnosis. There are many things that one might have to cut down from their day-to-day life. Though the treatment of cancer is evolving, for the medicines and cancer therapies to respond better, oncologists suggest alterations that may affect routine. For example, staying active during the treatment can have a positive impact while fighting fatigue and improving muscle strength, quality of life, flexibility and even the mental outlook.
Talk to the Insurer
With a cancer insurance policy as a backup, the financial load is taken care of by the insurer. However, talking to the insurer and keeping the whole situation transparent is recommended. Keep all the documents ready to produce as a proof of the diagnosis and know about all the benefits of the policy that will qualify for your case. Cancer insurance policy providers like Future Generali immediately roll out 25% of the cover amount if cancer is diagnosed in the minor stage. In case the cancer is diagnosed in the major stage, the entire cover amount plus an income of 2% of the cover amount/month for 60 months is offered.
Cancer diagnosis comes with a huge shock and takes a toll on mental health. The patient might get overwhelmed and at the same time worried about what happens next. The points mentioned above could be a good starting point to battle with the disease and come out as a survivor.