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When a Loved One is Diagnosed with Cancer
Written By : SeniorsList 
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When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, the natural response for many people is to panic. But there are some things that you need to keep in mind when someone that you love is diagnosed with cancer.

Cancer is NOT Always Terminal

The very first thing that you must realize is that a cancer diagnosis is NOT the death sentence that it was 50 years ago. New treatments are introduced all the time that improve the survival rate for many types of cancers.

There are many factors that weigh in when it comes to the prognosis of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer including type of cancer and stage of the cancer. There is no reason to think the worst upon learning of a cancer diagnosis.

You Must be a Support

Instead of focusing on the negative – which is very easy to do upon hearing such a scary diagnosis – why not find ways to be supportive to your loved one? He or she is going to have a battle in front of them in order to beat the cancer. They will need all of the support that they can get. You will not be able to provide the needed support unless you can learn to have hope and see that there really is the possibility of light at the end of the tunnel.

Learn What You Can, But Trust the Doctor

Some people, upon their loved one being diagnosed with cancer, head straight to the internet to learn all that they can about the disease. Keep in mind the obvious: You cannot believe everything that you read on the internet, or in magazines or in books. Yes, it is a good idea to do some research to learn all that you can, BUT you should still trust the doctor. Bring your ideas and research to appointments to get the doctor’s take on things, but do not trust what you read online over and above what the doctor suggests.

It’s Not about You

It can be very difficult to put your own emotions aside, especially with news as potentially devastating as a cancer diagnosis. But you must try to make the main focus of your energy and attention be the needs of the patient. This cancer diagnosis is, after all, about them. How it will ultimately impact your life is a secondary issue.

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, you should be prepared to make some changes to your own schedule if that is at all possible. If you have young children, talk to some friends about babysitting. If you work, talk to your boss about possibly needing a flexible schedule or some time off. Making such changes in your schedule will allow you to go to medical appointments with your loved one. It is important that someone go with them, especially at the beginning. It may be difficult for them to process all of the information that the doctor is giving to them, so having someone else there to take notes and ask questions is important.

Remember, a cancer diagnosis is not the end. It is just the beginning of a fight for which your love and support will be very much needed.

Copyright © 2012

Find out more about: cancer
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