After being diagnosed with cancer your mind may be reeling. Any cancer diagnosis is a challenge. Try to remember every person's experience with cancer is different and stories you hear may not apply to your situation. However, here are some helpful hints from people who have been through a similar experience.
- Try to keep a positive outlook and remember everyone's experience is different.
- There are many sources of information available on websites, in books and brochures. Our staff can direct you to resources that may be of assistance through your diagnosis and treatment.
- Concord’s Cancer Council Liaison helps cancer patients and carers navigate the range of available cancer information resources and support services. The Liaison ensures that both patients and carers have access to relevant supportive care information and services, in the right place, at the right time. Contact Concord’s Cancer Council Liaison, Christie, for support on 0413 889 283.
- You can also phone the Cancer Council Information and Support Line on 13 11 20 to speak with a cancer health professional about what support services Cancer Council can provide. Please head to Cancer Council NSW's website for more information on its range of available support services.
- You can seek a second medical opinion. Don't be afraid to ask, your doctor will understand the need to put your mind at ease. See the Rights and Responsibilities Brochure.
- Take a family member or friend with you, if possible, when you see your doctor
- Write down questions in advance, keep information in a notebook such as the date and reason for an appointment. You may need this information to look at later or when you are talking to family members or for insurance and government forms.
- Speak up if you don't understand, otherwise your doctor will assume you have understood.
- Before your treatment starts, your doctor will talk to you about your diagnosis, your options for treatment and the side effects of treatment so that you may give informed consent. You can change your mind at any time or ask for more information from members of your treatment team to make sure that you have made the best treatment decision for you.
- Tell your doctor how much information you want. Everyone is different when it comes to deciding on how much to know. Let your doctor know if you don't think you want to know all the details. You can change your mind at any time.
- Some people choose not have treatment and they can change their mind at any time. Deciding not to have treatment does not mean you will be on your own, there are specific treatments available to control side effects if needed.
- Make a help list - things that would be helpful to you or your family, for example, making a meal, or driving the kids to a hockey practice or swimming lesson. Then, when someone says, "How can I help?" you can look through your list. You, and the person offering to help, will both benefit. Friends and family may want to help but need to know how they can help!