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What to Do When You’re Diagnosed with Breast Cancer -New Spanish-Language Website
Photo: Breast Cancer Help
What to Do When You’re Diagnosed with Breast Cancer
When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, we could hardly believe it. She discovered a lump and her gynecologist told her it was just a cyst. But when she went for a second opinion she found out it was malignant. My mom came to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic. She’s been such a strong figure, raising my sisters and me in a new country. During this time, it took everything she had not to cry or show her pain in front of the family. I understand that was a generational thing, but I hope that new Latina moms share their feelings with their families. During this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I encourage everyone with breast cancer to follow these steps to take care of themselves. Remember, you are not in this by yourself.
Five First Steps When You Have Breast Cancer
from Dr. Generosa Grana and fromBreastcancer.org
1. Don’t Panic
Breast cancer is serious, but it’s a very survivable disease. The best thing you can do is to inform yourself about the illness and stay calm.
2. Get Your Team Together
Cancer care involves many different health care professionals, but your doctor or a trained patient navigator at your hospital, such as a nurse or social worker, can help you put together a cancer care team. Ask if your hospital has someone who can help you with this, and find an oncologist you can trust. Friends and family members who have experience with cancer can also help recommend other specialists. You are the head of your cancer care team, and it is important to make sure everyone communicates with each other (and with you) to make sure you receive the best treatment possible and minimize side effects.
3. Educate Yourself
Resources like Breastcancer.org can provide you with lots of information you might have missed when you were at the doctor’s office. Make sure to read up about your options so you can make the most informed decisions possible. Remember, you have a choice about your treatment.
4. Rely On Friends and Family
Breast cancer doesn’t just affect you; it affects your family, too. The people who are close to you love you and want to help you, so talking to them about what you are going through is beneficial for both of you. Remember you are not alone, and having breast cancer doesn’t make you any less of a wife, mother, sister, daughter or friend.
5. Don’t Worry If You Don’t Have Insurance
Even if you don’t have health insurance, there are programs and hospitals in every state who will work with you to obtain the care you need. Not having health insurance should not prevent you from seeking treatment.
Learn more at www.breastcancer.org/es
By Judy Reyes and Dr. Generosa Grana
Breastcancer.org which launched its new Spanish-language website this week, www.breastcancer.org/es, to bring the most up to date information about breast health and breast cancer to the Spanish-speaking community.
Breastcancer.org is the number one online resource for breast health and breast cancer information and support, with over 1,000 pages of expert-reviewed medical information on breast cancer – spanning all aspects of the illness, from symptoms and diagnosis through treatment and side effects.