Navigating Cancer Diagnosis: Flatten the Learning Curve

Navigating cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming without specific subject matter expertise.  In fact, I have heard many people refer to navigating a cancer diagnosis as their second job. 

The question is: do you have the time to devote to a second job?

Sure, you may have the actual hours available to cram for this course. However, the learning curve of navigating cancer diagnosis is steep. Additionally, if you are caring for a loved one with a cancer diagnosis, there is an opportunity cost to embarking on the mission. 

Hours spent in self-study on “google med” is quality time that is not spent with your loved one. And without some guidance, you can’t even be sure you are studying the right material or have the right answers. 

Steps To Navigating Cancer Diagnosis

So, how should you navigate your cancer diagnosis? With the right guidance, you can significantly flatten the learning curve and increase your confidence in navigating cancer diagnosis. However, what exactly does that entail? 

The first step is recognizing that you need assistance to increase confidence in your decision-making. Additionally, working with a professional helps you avoid the common regrets of  “leaving something unturned,”  “should haves,”  and “wish I would haves.”  From there, follow these steps to ensure you’re successfully navigating cancer diagnosis:

Gather Information to Fully Understand the Diagnosis 

  • What is the pathology of your tumor?
  • What is the genomics of the tumor? 
  • Determine the stage and grade. 
  • Is your tumor considered rare? 

Research and Understand Your Options When Navigating Cancer Diagnosis

  • Based on your situation, what are the options? 
  • Is chemotherapy an option? 
  • Is radiation an option? 
  • Or is surgery an option? 
  • Are you a candidate for immuno-oncology? 
  • What is the best treatment plan for you?
  • Know the differences between complementary vs alternative medicines

What to Consider When Assembling Your Team

  • What impact does your diagnosis have on the selection of a specialist? 
  • And, are there limitations to your insurance plan?
  • Also, who has the most expertise in treating your tumor type and where are they located? 
  • Do you need multiple specialists? 

Prepare for Your Appointments With an Objective in Mind

  • Why is your physician recommending this option? 
  • And, how will this treatment affect your daily life?
  • What supportive care resources are available to you?  
  • Additionally, what is the role of integrative medicine and how will that be incorporated into your plan?  
  • Who is the physician overseeing your care? 
  • How will you communicate with your physician outside of scheduled appointments? 

Next, Understand the Financial Implications of Your Care and Navigating Cancer Diagnosis

  • How much of your treatment plan will be covered by insurance? 
  • And will your treatment plan cost you out of pocket? 
  • If so, how will you pay for costs not covered by insurance? 
  • Will you need financial assistance? 
  • Or, what financial assistance is available?
  • How will you access financial assistance? 

And Finally, Don’t Ignore the Importance of Mindset

  • What is your vision for the best possible scenario during treatment and beyond?  
  • Additionally, are there resources needed to ensure you realize your vision? 
  • What impact will your diagnosis have on your family and professional relationships?
  • Lastly, make a list of the resources you will need to best support your vision and where to find them.

Private Cancer Patient Advocate Near Me

So, do you need help flattening the curve of navigating cancer diagnosis? Consider soliciting the help of someone with the subject matter expertise. This ensures that you leave no stone unturned. 

Soliciting a tutor with subject matter expertise helps you quickly identify and address any areas where gaps exist. That way, you are guaranteed to put the best plan in place to maximize the chance of a successful objective and positive outcome.  

If you’re unsure who to call, a professional health consultant/ private advocate can help. Our team has subject matter expertise in cancer and navigating cancer diagnosis, so we can help you do just that. 

A cancer diagnosis is common. However, every family’s circumstances are unique. Contact Dana for a complimentary call to learn how we can help you flatten your curve.