Cancer is a scary word that can affect anyone. Statistics show that millions of people are diagnosed with cancer each year.
With these numbers, almost 40% of the population will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Those statistics are scary, but a cancer diagnosis doesn’t always mean a terminal one.
Many people survive cancer and live a meaningful life for years after their recovery. New treatments are discovered all the time to help fight the disease. However, it can take a while to accept and digest the original diagnosis.
‘Cancer’ is the Word Everyone Dreads Hearing
There aren’t many words in existence that strike fear in the heart like the word ‘cancer’ does. The shock of the diagnosis often renders people both speechless and paralyzed. But living in denial about having cancer is likely to hurt your survival rate.
It’s been shown that positive thinking can help us through our darkest times. A cancer diagnosis is definitely one of those dark times. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, scared, and even anxious after hearing the dreaded “C” word.
Many people with cancer say they’ve lived two lives: one before they were diagnosed and one after. What can you do to bridge those lives?
3 Ways to Stay Positive After a Cancer Diagnosis
Keeping a positive mindset can help reduce stress. Staying mentally healthy is just as important as staying physically healthy. Here are 3 things you can do to better face a cancer diagnosis.
1. Join a cancer support group. With the popularity of the internet, support groups are now available online with people from all over the country and world. Social media is another great source of online support. Facebook, in particular, can be used to create groups dedicated to sharing and receiving information and support.
Local, in-person support groups are also available. The American Cancer Society has recommendations for both online and local support groups.
2. Keep as much of your normal routine as possible. It can feel like a cancer diagnosis has upended your entire life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Keeping to your normal schedule and normal activities can help you feel, well, normal.
Some positive life changes to make include focusing on a healthier diet, exercise and generally adopting a healthier lifestyle. But going out with friends, socializing, or working are examples of things that will have a positive influence if you are physically up to it.
3. Get the facts from your doctor, not the internet. The first thing a lot of people do when they aren’t feeling well is to look up their symptoms on the internet instead of seeing a doctor. Even people who have been diagnosed with a medical condition, be it cancer or the flu, can’t resist Googling for more information.
As much as the internet is a source of endless information, it is all generic, without context. Your doctor will know more about your specific situation than Google or strangers on social media. The internet will only cause more worry instead of easing it.
A Cancer Diagnosis Changes Your Life
Keeping a positive attitude doesn’t mean you don’t take your diagnosis seriously. For better or worse, your life will be changed after a diagnosis of cancer. But your attitude can better your odds for survival.