Finding out that you are afflicted with cancer is an emotional experience. No matter how devastating, it is important that you rally yourself and focus on what to do after confirmation of the diagnosis.
Before you start it, the following things need to be done:
Take In the News
Studies have shown that cancer patients who were accompanied by a loved one, such as a spouse or a friend, bore the news more patiently and were able to follow-up thoroughly with further inquiries. Feelings of shock, anger, depression and disbelief are natural and should not be internalized. Take your time to sort out your feelings and ready yourself for what will follow.
Know the Details of the Diagnosis
Knowledge is key. You should find out the exact name of the disease, its nature, size, location, where it began and to what extent has it metastasized. It is important to know the rate at which the cancer will develop further so as to know when to expect more signs and symptoms. Further inquiries should revolve round available treatment options, the success rate of each method, and the risks of each surgery. You should also know what will be the side effects of these treatments and other supplementary medicines that you will be required to take.
Determine What Treatment is Best for You
The major types of treatment are in broad terms surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. Sometimes the best kind of treatment may involve the combination of two or more types of treatment. Ask your doctor about the goal of the treatment. An integral part of decision-making is to ascertain if the treatment is for curing the cancer, controlling it or keeping it at bay. This is a dynamic process and will need to be revisited over a period of time.
Plan Your Treatment
After having made the decision, confirm how long you will have to wait before treatment will begin. This will obviously depend on the severity of the condition and its rate of growth. Discuss everything with your doctor beforehand, and incorporate your own personal considerations such as any travelling required. It is also beneficial to go for a second opinion, since even insurance companies require you to do so. Even if the diagnosis is similar, it will give you a different specialist’s perspective and provide peace of mind.
Lung cancer treatment can be intensive, time-consuming and costly. Once you have decided on your preferred form of treatment, make sure that you know the break-up of each anticipated cost so as to prepare yourself mentally and monetarily for disbursement. Remember, however, that cost does not equal efficacy, and that other considerations will be needed to be factored in before making an informed decision.