Navigating a New Cancer Diagnosis
We all know that the first weeks after a cancer diagnosis are, in some ways, the most difficult of the whole experience. In addition to the flood of intense emotions, there is so much to learn and to decide. How do I choose a doctor? Is one hospital in my area better than another for me? If there are treatment choices, how do I make them? Other blogs have focused on many of the psychosocial issues and related questions, but I want to share an excellent resource for the more medically-related concerns.
Oncolink, sponsored by UPenn, is one of the oldest and best-established websites for reliable cancer information. This is a link to one particularly good section, OncoPilot:
A new diagnosis of cancer brings out a lot of emotions; all at a time when decisions need to be made that can affect the rest of your life. It is important for the patient to become an active member of his or her healthcare team. This guide has been developed to give you suggestions on ways to make this time easier and to help you make the best decisions. It is divided into sections that mirror the typical path a person with a new diagnosis might take. Not all sections will apply to you, so use those that fit your situation.
Mapping the Journey
Finding an Oncologist: Finding the right doctor is not as simple as one would think. Here are some tips to assembling the right team for you.
Questions to Ask My Doctor: This is your care, so be prepared to ask the questions that will help you make decisions related to your care with this guide.
Second Opinions: While not right for every case, this article helps you understand the potential value to a second opinion and how to go about getting one.
The First Visit to a Specialist: This article covers ways to prepare to assure you get the most out of this visit.
Do take a little time to explore the whole website. It is full of helpful information: