A cancer diagnosis can be emotionally challenging. In time, each person learns to cope in his or her own way. Until you find what works for you, you might try to:
Aug. 22, 2013
Know what to expect. Learn enough about your cancer to feel comfortable making treatment decisions.
Ask your doctor to tell you the type and stage of your cancer, as well as your treatment options and their side effects. The more you know, the more confident you'll be when it comes to making decisions about your own care. Look for information in your local library and on reliable websites.
- Keep friends and family close. Keeping your close relationships strong will help you deal with your cancer. Friends and family can provide the practical support you'll need, such as helping take care of your house if you're in the hospital. And they can serve as emotional support when you feel overwhelmed by cancer.
Find someone to talk with. Find a good listener who is willing to listen to you talk about your hopes and fears. This may be a friend or family member. The concern and understanding of a counselor, medical social worker, clergy member or cancer support group also may be helpful.
Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or check your phone book, library or a cancer organization, such as the National Cancer Institute or the American Cancer Society.
- Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-4/0/1709/0.html. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- What you need to know about cancer of the colon and rectum. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/colon-and-rectal. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- Colon cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- Rectal cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- Edge SB, et al. AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, N.Y.: Springer; 2010:143.
- Distress management. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- Colorectal cancer screening. Bloomington, Minn.: Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. https://www.icsi.org/guidelines__more/catalog_guidelines_and_more/catalog_guidelines/catalog_prevention__screening_guidelines/colorectal/. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Chan A. NSAIDs (including aspirin): Role in prevention of colorectal cancer. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- Feldman M, et al. Sleisenger & Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4160-6189-2..X0001-7--TOP&isbn=978-1-4160-6189-2&about=true&uniqId=229935664-2192. Accessed July 2, 2013.
- Taking time: Support for people with cancer. National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/takingtime. Accessed July 8, 2013.
- Zauber AG, et al. Colonoscopic polypectomy and long-term prevention of colorectal-cancer deaths. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2012;366:687.
- Picco MF (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla. July 11, 2013.
- Cook AJ. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 31, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.