About 60,000 people in Ontario will be diagnosed with cancer this year.
Many people will be cured but the diagnosis is still very frightening.
Here are some helpful hints from those who have been through the same
Try to keep a positive outlook. Any cancer diagnosis is a challenge.
Remember every person’s experience with cancer is different and stories
you hear may not apply to your situation.
Take a family member or friend with you, if possible, when you see your oncologist.
Write down information in this binder such as the date and reason for the doctor’s
visit. You may need this information to look at, at a later date or when you are
talking to family members or for insurance and government forms.
Phone your local Canadian Cancer Society office. They will explain to you what
cancer services the Society can provide to you. The Canadian Cancer Society’s web
site also contains a directory of other support services available in the community.
Tell your oncologist (cancer doctor) how much information you want. Your Doctor
will provide you with as little or as much information as you want to know. However,
your Doctor needs to tell you enough information for you to give informed consent for
any investigations and/or treatments you may receive. If you do not understand anything,
please say so. When your need for information changes, let your Doctor know this as well.
Make up a list of things that would be helpful to you or your family, for example making a
meal, or driving the kids to a hockey practice or swimming lesson. Then, when someone says,
“How can I help?” you can look through your list. You, and the person offering to help, will
both benefit. Friends and family may want to help but need to know how they can help!
Think about borrowing or buying an answering machine or subscribing to an answering service.
An answering machine allows you to stay in touch, but you can choose the time to call people back.
Turn down the phone when you need to rest and pick up your messages later.
You may want a “second medical opinion” We would like to reassure you that it is all right to raise
the question of a second medical opinion directly with your Doctor at a regular appointment at the
Centre. If you prefer you can contact your Doctor at the Centre or by asking your family doctor to
discuss the matter with him or her. In many cases, our staff will assist or organize the arrangements
for a second medical opinion. Our staff is available to discuss your request and your medical requirements
in detail. Your satisfaction is one of our most important objectives.