Finding out that you have cancer is devastating. While advanced medicine has made it possible for people to live for years and even beat this deadly disease, it doesn’t make the news any less frightening to hear. Though your mind may be racing all over the place at the moment, the next steps you take are essential to prolonging and even saving your life.
Check Your Health Insurance
Cancer treatment isn’t cheap by a long shot. Fortunately, some health insurance policies do cover cancer treatment expenses like outpatient or inpatient services or medications. While they may not cover all of your out-of-pocket expenses, it can dramatically reduce the amount you have to pay. If you don’t presently have insurance, there are free and affordable options you can consider to get medical coverage for your cancer care.
Contact a Specialist
You may already have a primary care physician, but when it comes to treating cancer, it is often recommended that you work with a specialist. An oncologist is a medical expert that specializes in treating patients with cancer. They can help you further understand the severity of your cancer and the various options there are for treating and potentially eliminating it altogether.
If you’re not sure which oncology professional you want to see, start with your doctor. They can give you a list of providers that come highly recommended in your area. You can also check with your health insurance to find out which professionals are in your network.
Look Into Your Options
After seeing an oncologist you should have a better understanding of your condition and the recommended next steps to take. While you may be considering the recommendations advised by the specialist, it’s always good to know every option available to you so you can make the most informed decision about your treatment and care.
There are alternative therapies and holistic approaches to treating cancer that you may want to look into. Though options such as massage therapy, acupuncture, and herbal remedies, may not help to completely cure your cancer, they have been known to help ease some of the symptoms and enhance recovery efforts. Just be sure to do extensive research and consult with your doctor and oncologist before trying these therapies.
Cancer is a serious health condition that can impact you physically and emotionally. As you go through the next steps towards treating your cancer and adapting to your “new normal”, you’ll want to have a trusted group of people you can turn to for support. This can be your spouse, a parent, adult child, sibling, or close friend. If necessary, you might also look to outside sources like a therapist or a support group to help you throughout your journey to recovery.
Make Necessary Lifestyle Changes
Your body is already under a lot of stress as it tries to fight cancer. When you add to that the fact that the medications and treatments often drain your body’s resources, it is necessary to make lifestyle changes. By eating proper nutrition and exercising regularly, you give your body the extra strength it needs to withstand the pressure.
Working with a nutritionist or health coach can help you to determine the best diet to help get the daily vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, your body needs to boost your body’s natural systems while also helping to fight cancer. They can give you a list of foods to eat and provide you with tools to create meal plans to support your nutritional needs.
The word cancer feels like a death sentence, but that’s not always the case. After you’ve gotten your affairs in order, the best thing you can do for yourself and those you care about is to enjoy life. Don’t allow cancer to stop you from doing things you like or spending time with those you love. As long as your health allows, continue with everyday living. Go to work, spend time with your family, participate in activities you enjoy, and live life to the fullest.
Hearing that you have something as serious as cancer is a hard pill to swallow. While allowing yourself some time to take all this information in and grieve is ideal, eventually, you’ll need to start taking action to regain some control, provide peace of mind, and hopefully, fight off cancer.