Coping With Breast Cancer: Diagnosis to Surgery : According to recent statistics, about one in every eight women in the US develop breast cancer throughout their lifetime. This year alone, approximately 280,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed. Although many variables and factors determine breast cancer mortality rate, getting diagnosed with breast cancer is still a difficult and trying time for anyone.
Feelings after diagnosis
The initial reactions after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis vary from one person to another. In general, the following are some of the most natural reactions.
- Shock and anger. It’s normal to question the circumstance, especially since you’ll feel that the odds are stacked against you. Along with shock, anger may also set in because you may consider the situation unfair.
- Fear and anxiety. Many who get diagnosed with breast cancer undergo a period of depression. An underlying emotion that triggers anxiety is the fear of not knowing what could happen in the future.
Eventually, these feelings will lead to acceptance. However, it’s essential to have a strong support system. Treatment plans also vary significantly, and some would require more emotional support than others.
What to do if you need to undergo surgery
Similar to other medical conditions, undergoing surgery for breast cancer can be quite overwhelming. Staying calm as your doctor explains what to expect from the procedure will help you put things into perspective. You’ll also be able to ask critical questions if you aren’t overwhelmed by your emotions. If it helps, try asking for a second opinion or choose a surgeon that makes you feel at ease. Your relationship with your surgeon also matters as it will impact your stress level. Lastly, despite how anxious you may feel, approach the situation objectively, and ask for alternatives and other treatment options that may work for you.
How to cope with the diagnosis and upcoming surgery
Apart from your family and friends, there are many avenues for support if you get diagnosed with breast cancer. Fortunately, you never have to walk the path alone. Where can you get the emotional support to overcome this difficult phase in your life?
- Stay well-informed and connect with health professionals. If you have concerns, questions, and factual clarifications, don’t hesitate to reach out to the medical team in charge of your treatment. Anyone from your oncologist, surgeon, nurses, and general practitioner is capable of assisting you in one way or another.
- Join a support group for breast cancer patients and survivors. Nowadays, there are support groups that aim to help patients cope with their condition. The good thing is, you can find one that fits your needs. Whether you prefer face to face meetings or online interaction, you’re assured that there’s someone who understands how you’re feeling. Of course, joining a support group isn’t for everyone. If you give it a try, perhaps you’ll find the comfort you need at the exact moment when you’re having a hard time.
Coping with a breast cancer diagnosis and surgery is challenging for anyone. Along the way, you’ll feel discouraged and hopeless. What’s essential is to acknowledge those feelings and do your best to address them. Your family is your best ally, along with health professionals and support groups that can genuinely empathize with you.
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