I have just been Diagnosed

Being diagnosed with cancer can be a huge shock. You might be overwhelmed, worried about what happens next or thinking about the impact on your life. Here is some information that could be a good starting point. Your doctor will explain the type of cancer you have and what tests and treatments you will need.  But often it can be difficult to take in everything that's being said. For many people, a cancer diagnosis is life changing. Knowing what financial and emotional support is available can make the future seem a little less daunting. Some people may find it helpful to have some statistics when making treatment decisions. However, while statistics can give you an idea of what may happen, doctors can’t say for certain what will happen to you.

Ask Questions

Your Doctor and Healthcare team can answer any questions you may have about your diagnoses and or/ your treatment.

Asking questions can make it easier to cope with diagnosis and treatment. Knowing what is happening and why will not only make you feel more involved in your care, it can help in making decisions easier.

You will probably have lots of questions. Some of which you may find difficult to ask, particularly when they are about very personal issues. But your healthcare team will be used to all kinds of questions and will be happy to help.

Questions you could ask are:
  • What is the exact name of my cancer?
  • What is the stage of my cancer?
  • Is there anything we need to know or can learn about my disease that will help guide my treatment decisions such as a biomarker or genetic test?
  • What happens next?

Tips to Remember

  • Bring a family member or a support person with you to medical appointments to listen, take notes, ask questions and help you talk through the information after the appointment.
  • It can help to be prepared by writing down a list of questions and concerns you may have to ask
  • Ask  if you could record the meeting so that you can refer back to it if necessary
  • Don’t worry about asking all your questions at once.  You will have other chances to ask them.
  • It’s also okay to ask the same question again.
  • Give yourself time to take in and understand what you are being told.
  • The most important thing is that you understand what the doctor is telling you.

Still Feeling Confused

More information that may help you:

  • What is Cancer
  • Cancer and Your Feelings
  • Coping with Family Life and Work
  •  What to expect from Chemotherapy
Cancer Society Helpline