How To Approach A Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer

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How To Approach A Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
How To Approach A Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
Video: How To Approach A Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
Video: Diagnosis of Breast Cancer 2023, February

The month of October is dedicated to raising awareness about breast cancer, for this reason we wanted to ask dr. Carlos Barcenas from MD Anderson, what a patient should know right after being diagnosed with breast cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, about 24,000 Hispanic women are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Additionally, Hispanic women tend to be diagnosed at more advanced stages than non-Hispanic white women. For this reason, having a good understanding of the type and stage of breast cancer is essential to approach the treatment process appropriately.

1.Knowledge is power.

Not all breast cancers are the same. Many patients, once diagnosed, or while awaiting the results of the diagnosis, tend to search for information online and turn to sources that are not the most reliable. It is preferable to address any type of question directly with the medical staff, and if they are going to resort to websites that are reliable, such as, for example, the medical institutes themselves.

2. Do not rush the start of treatment

Many patients think that they should start treatment immediately after their diagnosis. However, depending on the type of cancer and the stage it is in, the way in which treatment is approached is different. For example, you may be advised to start with surgery and then have chemotherapy or radiation, or similarly, you may be advised to have the surgery come later. Therefore, it is important that all the necessary information about the cancer is obtained first and that the decision is made together with a multidisciplinary medical team. A week or two will not make a difference in the results - since the cancer will not grow in a matter of days - but the way the disease is treated does.

3. Don't get stuck in the statistics

Statistics can be important for making initial treatment decisions, but they do not have individual implication, since they do not necessarily represent what will happen to that patient. So I recommend that my patients keep a positive attitude and focus on themselves, and not get stuck on what the numbers say.

However, in the case of breast cancer, it is important to mention that the statistics are usually better than for other types of cancer. There have been great medical advances in recent years that have allowed better results for patients diagnosed with this cancer.

4.Try to keep your routine

I always recommend that patients maintain their routine and continue with their day-to-day activities, whether working, exercising, or studying, to the extent possible. While there are side effects as a result of treatment, they are usually manageable. Also, keeping the routine and staying busy helps you not to be thinking about the disease at all times. However, if the patient is suffering from more severe side effects, she should listen to what her doctor tells her and take a break if necessary.

5.Don't face cancer alone

With a cancer diagnosis, feelings of fright, anxiety, and uncertainty can arise. This is why the support of those close to the patient is so important, especially as psychological support during the process of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. I also recommend that patients always be accompanied to their medical appointments, since worry and fear often distract them, and they do not always manage to capture all the information that the medical team is giving them.

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