5 Steps For A Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patient

A cancer diagnosis often comes with many emotions and feelings – surprise, shock, anger, fear, sadness, hopelessness, and others.  While you are processing these emotions, your doctor is likely giving you information on your diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, services available to you, and next steps.

Many patients report their initial meeting a complete blur and the only word they heard was ‘cancer’. Studies show that many cancer patients don’t fully understand their prognosis, type of cancer or the kinds of treatment(s) available to them. In many cases the patient is too overwhelmed with all of the information and they are unable to fully grasp their disease.

There are many ways to help someone get focused and really understand their unique cancer.  Here are 5 tips to help keep your mind from overloading and gaining focus on how:

  1. Do not rely solely on the internet for information.  The internet is a great resource for research, however, there is so much out information there, how are you to know what is accurate and what is not?  Some stories and articles will scare the bejeezus out of you!  Someone that is newly diagnosed will already have a lot of information to decipher.  Recognizing inaccurate and misleading information can take up a lot of quality time that could have been better spent elsewhere.  Focus on collecting the information from your doctor(s) and really understand your diagnosis from them first to better assist your research efforts.
  1. Create your support system.  You need to surround yourself with supportive people and designate a specific caregiver.  Let this person be a part of all your meetings with the doctor(s).  She or He can be another set of ears, someone to take notes for you and ask questions you may not be thinking of.  This not only gives you the opportunity to just absorb the information but it also provides you with an advocate to walk with you through your journey.
  1. Ask questions!  There is that old saying ‘No question is a dumb question’ and it is absolutely true, especially when you are dealing with uncharted waters.  Be confident in asking your doctor(s) anything.  They went to medical school for 12+ years.  You may have just found out about your diagnosis that day or days/weeks ago.  They understand that.  If they say something you don’t understand, be sure to stop them and ask them to explain it in a way you will.  It is safe to say that most doctors really are there to help you.  The better educated you are about your diagnosis, the less fear you might have.
  1. Maintain a healthy diet.  Keeping a healthy diet will not only keep your immune system sound it will also help reduce your fatigue and stress.  65-70% of cancer patients are malnourished.  This can make you weak, tired, unable to concentrate, prone to more illnesses, or not fit for treatment.  Talk to your doctor about what will be the appropriate diet for you to keep yourself physically and mentally strong.
  1. Join a support group.  Having a support system is so important when you are diagnosed with cancer.  Having someone who has experienced what you are about to go through gives you the assurance that you are not alone. Joining a support group can give you an opportunity to share your fears with others who are or have experienced a similar illness.  It can give you the additional support to help you cope, get advice, share your feelings with those that likely are experiencing everything that you are.  To find out a local support group near you visit:

For Canada:

For US:

If you know of someone in need of cancer treatment please forward our article on to them.  We are partnered with excellent cancer treatment centers throughout the US that can help you navigate your journey.

New Breast Cancer therapy approved by US FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved Nerlynx (neratinib) for the extended adjuvant treatment of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. For patients with this type of cancer, Nerlynx is the first extended adjuvant therapy, a form of therapy that is taken after an initial treatment to further lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Nerlynx is for adult patients who have been previously treated with a regimen that includes the drug trastuzumab.

HER2-positive breast cancers are aggressive tumors and can spread to other parts of the body, making adjuvant therapy an important part of the treatment plan. Now these patients have an option to prevent this from happening.

Below are stats taken from the Canadian Cancer Society:

It is estimated that in 2017:

  • 26,300 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This represents 25% of all new cancer cases in women in 2017.
  • 5,000 women will die from breast cancer. This represents 13% of all cancer deaths in women in 2017.
  • On average, 72 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day.
  • On average, 14 Canadian women will die from breast cancer every day.
  • 230 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 60 will die from breast cancer.

Nerlynx is a kinase inhibitor that works by blocking several enzymes that promote cell growth.  After two years of doing the study for Nerlynx, 94.2 percent of patients treated  had not experienced cancer recurrence or death.

More interesting information on cancer for Canadians

Ottawa, ON – While the latest cancer statistics are shocking, the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network calls on Canadians and the media to take a restrained and balanced view of them.

It is disquieting to think that a loved one or friend or indeed we ourselves may be diagnosed with cancer, given that nearly one in two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.  Click to read more: