A cancer diagnosis - words we thought never to hear. If diagnosed with cancer there is a myriad of emotions and thoughts which go through your mind. It is not an easily forgotten moment. Recently we went through this with a friend who was misdiagnosed with metastasized lung cancer. This brought back memories, thoughts and emotions of my cancer diagnoses. Simple misunderstandings of new terminology, used often by medical staff, but for many people, who are in the shock of a cancer diagnosis, it can be overwhelming.
Recently I came across an article which provides an excellent explanation of cancer, and a good place to start making up a list of questions.
The Big "C" Word - Cancer
This is how my family in Australia refers to cancer and for some people upon diagnosis it is too much for them to accept. We are all different and we respond uniquely to similar circumstances. Cancer is an individual disease based on many criteria. For example:
- genetic makeup (family genes)
- lifestyle and diet
- personal health issues and history
These all affect how we think, feel and respond both emotionally and physically. There does not have to be a reason why someone gets cancer ~ sometimes there is simply no explanation.
What is a PET Scan or a CT Scan
This is one question which came up often. There are many variables, and reasons for both tests but ultimately it is a decision for you and your specialist. Here are links :
- What is a PET Scan (PET = positron emission tomography) which can diagnose and stage cancer
- What is a CT Scan (CT = computed tomography) for a range of diseases
Another question to ask is are there new programs to treat the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with, such as Rapid Autopilot Program for early lung cancer diagnosis
Knowledge & Understanding
It is important if you don't know the meaning of a word, test, procedure or diagnosis to ask for an explanation. Also consider asking about prognosis and side effects. Simply if something is bothering you, it is fair that you expect a complete answer so that you understand what is happening.
The Article ... National Cancer Institute
Here is the article. A general look at what is cancer, types of cancer, how cancer spreads, etc. - a good place to begin:
Explore all your options to be the best you can be in your circumstances by living a more healthy lifestyle. There are still a lot of unknowns in preventing, fighting and curing cancer. There are also many new cancer treatments becoming available such as Immunotherapy and molecular research . A balanced approach is always recommended.
If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer, there will be questions and fears and it's always okay to ask. Taking it all in can add stress to your life so accept help and take each day as it comes. I hope this article has helped you and is a good place for you to start with an understanding of this disease.
I urge you to :
- Keep a medical log and take someone with you to all appointments to make notes
- Share with a friend who will listen and support you
- Stay positive
Take care ~ Liz
Links & References:
- Life is full of Surprises
- Living with Uncertain Recurrence
- Breast cancer information
- Lung cancer information
- Colon / rectal cancer information (colorectal cancer)
- Bladder cancer information
- 4 in 10 cancers may be prevented by lifestyle changes
- Drinking alcohol & breast cancer
- Quotes from Barbara Johnson
In hindsight I wished I had been more inquisitive with the first cancer diagnosis with breast cancer. I kept asking questions after surgery and treatment which eventually led to the discovery by "accident" of another primary cancer - not a metastasized breast cancer. It has been 4 years since the lung cancer surgery and my last CT Scan was "stable". I have a much to be thankful for ... especially for the RAP program
Our friend does not have cancer; and he, and his wife have taken a Mediterranean cruise and holiday in Europe. Wonderful news!
The information contained in this blog is based on personal experiences and opinion. It is not to be misconstrued in any way as health care advice but is provided for interest and hopefully learning purposes.
Always seek qualified medical care and guidance if you think you have a health concern.
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Update Fall 2020 :
Since publishing this article (2016) there is new research with regard to Metabolic Syndrome which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer's, heart disease and some Cancers. Here is a link to several research articles describing metabolic syndrome and also Insulin Resistance. At this time, please look into this topic if you have co-morbidities for Covid-19 such as obesity and the above. (June 2020)
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It's almost five years since this article was written and in this time we have followed a Low Carbohydrate lifestyle. This article, and others, remain on my website as there are many positive aspects as well as links of interest. Enjoy and take care during this time of Covid-19 ~ Liz