What to do at diagnosis of cancer
To help prevent recurrence and slow cancer progress, it is necessary to radically change the underlying conditions which may have enabled the cancer to flourish initially.
Don’t be pessimistic if you are told you carry the genes for your particular cancer; “Everything is 100% genetic and 100% environmental.” Cancer genes can be switched off in the right biochemical environment. (However, please note that very few U.K. physicians know very much about the strong scientific evidence for nutritional therapies in cancer and might prove discouraging.) If it is at all possible, for the first few months after your diagnosis, drop everything and concentrate on yourself, and your health. This will give your body a chance to rebuild the necessary resources that will improve your chances of a good recovery.
If you are going to hospital for tests that you may suspect may lead to a diagnosis of cancer, we recommend:
- Do not go alone. Take a close friend or family member.
- Ask your friend or relative to bring a pen and pad, and be prepared to make notes at your consultation. In your state of shock and/or acute anxiety, you may not remember critical things the consultant says.
- Encourage your friend to ask questions on your behalf.
- Question everything you don’t understand.
- If it is possible and/or you can afford it, ask for a second opinion at a
different cancer centre, with a different oncologist. Approaches to
cancer treatment can vary considerably. Occasionally, there is a false
- Ensure you are seen by a specialist in your particular cancer, at a
cancer hospital or centre, not a general hospital.
- Do not rush thoughtlessly into treatment. You can usually take a week
or two at the least, to consider treatment options, unless you have a
surgical or other real emergency.
- Research as much as you can about your cancer, and new treatment for
it, or ask a friend or relative to do so. Air all your questions, findings,
options, with your doctor or specialist before coming to a final decision
on what is right for you.