Newly Diagnosed: First Steps
Each year 170,000 Canadians are diagnosed with some form of cancer. If you're one of these people, you may have questions about the disease, your prognosis, the treatments and your well-being. "Newly Diagnosed: First Steps" provides the information you need to work with members of your treatment team to move forward with the hope of remission and recovery. Subsequent sections will guide you through treatment, supportive care and beyond.
The cancer journey can be stressful and intimidating. During this time, you'll be:
- accepting the news that you have cancer
- telling your family and friends
- finding a specialist
- getting the correct diagnosis
- making treatment choices
- beginning treatment
- taking care of your everyday needs
- finding the time for medical care
- completing treatment
- going for follow-up visits
Hearing the news that you have blood cancer may be a shock to you and your loved ones. You may feel sad, depressed or afraid. But learning about your cancer can help you make knowledgeable decisions with your doctor about your cancer treatment and take an active role in your ongoing care. Many people are better able to cope once they begin treatment and can look forward to the prospect of recovery.
Other people living with cancer have found the following guidance to be helpful:
- Keep all appointments with the doctor and be sure to talk openly about any fears, concerns or side effects experienced.
- Be an information seeker. Learn about your diagnosis and the most current treatment.
- Talk with family and friends about how you feel and how they can help.
- Contact your doctor about tiredness, fever, pain or sleeplessness so that any problems can be addressed early.
- Get medical advice if you have prolonged changes in mood, feelings of sadness or depression. Depression is an illness that should be treated.
- Learn about your healthcare facilities and available support for you and your family.
- Remember that the outlook for people with blood cancer is continuing to improve and new treatments are on the horizon. Researchers are studying new blood cancer treatments in clinical trials for patients of all ages and in all treatment stages.
We're Here to Help
In addition, an Information Specialist can help with your questions and concerns.
Other LLSC support resources are available to you as well.