No one can be prepared for a cancer diagnosis. You can, however, try to manage the shock and fear you're feeling by taking steps to control what you can about your situation.
Every woman deals with a cervical cancer diagnosis in her own way. With time, you'll discover what helps you cope. Until then, you can start to take control by attempting to:
Jan. 31, 2015
- Learn enough about cervical cancer to make decisions about your care. Write down your questions and ask them at the next appointment with your doctor. Get a friend or family member to come to appointments with you to take notes. Ask your health care team for further sources of information.
- Find someone to talk with. You may feel comfortable discussing your feelings with a friend or family member, or you might prefer meeting with a formal support group. Support groups for the families of cancer survivors also are available.
- Let people help. Cancer treatments can be exhausting. Let friends and family know what types of help would be most useful for you.
- Set reasonable goals. Having goals helps you feel in control and can give you a sense of purpose. But choose goals that you can reach.
- Take time for yourself. Eating well, relaxing and getting enough rest can help combat the stress and fatigue of cancer.
- What you need to know about cervical cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/cervix. Accessed July 3, 2014.
- Lentz GM, et al. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 3, 2014.
- Frumovitz M. Invasive cervical cancer: Epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 30, 2014.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 3, 2014.
- Feldman S, et al. Screening for cervical cancer: Rationale and recommendations. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 30, 2014.
- Saslow D, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. American Journal of Clinical Pathology. 2012;137:516.
- De Los Santos JF, et al. Management of early stage cervical cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 30, 2014.
- Cervical cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 3, 2014.
- De Los Santos JF, et al. Management of locally advanced cervical cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Oct. 1, 2014.
- Genital HPV infection: Fact Sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 7, 2014.
- Laughlin-Tommaso SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 2, 2014.