Newly Diagnosed with Breast Cancer? Breathe.

By Christine Lakin
Updated 2024-04-03 10:37:24 | Published 2020-11-11 08:32:22
  • Breast Cancer
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    • Explore our Breast Cancer section on the iMedix Blog for in-depth information on breast cancer detection, treatment, and survivorship. This space is designed to empower patients, survivors, and their loved ones with knowledge and support, providing resources and guidance through every stage of the breast cancer journey.

Breast Cancer

Although I'm only 48 years old, I felt like an anomaly 20 years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The pink power awareness movement was well-established, but at that time, I was unaware of any other young women facing the same disease. The internet didn't provide as much information back then, and there were still stigmas surrounding breast cancer, especially for young women. Nowadays, things have changed somewhat, with some individuals being more transparent about their breast cancer journey on social media. However, this abundance of information can also be overwhelming for those recently diagnosed.

If I could tell someone newly diagnosed with breast cancer one thing, it would be that each person's journey is unique. Even if you share the same diagnosis as someone else, this disease is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Your ability to tolerate treatment may differ from someone else's, and your doctor may suggest a different course of action based on your specific health issues.

Here are some other considerations for those newly diagnosed or for those looking to support someone going through breast cancer:

  1. When researching information online, be selective and rely on reliable sources such as iMedix.com, Cancer.org, and Breastcancer.org.
  2. Have a second pair of ears during appointments. Consider taking someone with you or ask the doctor if you can record the conversation to reference later.
  3. Don't hesitate to seek second or third opinions to ensure you feel comfortable with your treatment plan.
  4. Keep track of medications, vitamins, and supplements you're taking and share this information with your doctor to prevent any conflicts with your cancer treatment plan.
  5. Create a binder to organize important paperwork, including pathology reports, and inquire with your doctor about qualifying for any clinical trials.
  6. Explore fertility options if applicable and connect with a social worker or patient navigator who can provide resources and referrals to services.
  7. Evaluate your finances to understand how treatment may impact you, particularly if you're unable to work for a time.
  8. Learn strategies on how to communicate with your loved ones, as they are also affected by your diagnosis.
  9. Establish a community of support, whether it's individuals who can help with day-to-day tasks or connecting with online peer support groups.
  10. Consider seeking mental health counseling to help navigate your emotions, and prioritize self-care through practices such as prayer, journaling, or having a spa day.

In conclusion, receiving a breast cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but remember that you are not alone. By seeking reliable information, building a support network, and prioritizing self-care, you can navigate this challenging journey with strength and resilience.

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Christine Lakin is verified user for iMedix