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What Comes After a Cancer Diagnosis

By Jonathan Wells, 9:00 am on

A cancer diagnosis can be frightening not only to the person diagnosed with the disease, but also to his or her caregivers and loved ones. If you’ve learned that a family member has cancer, Douglas County elderly care professionals offer a few suggestions that can help ease the fear and uncertainty that often comes with the treatment process. Knowing what to expect can help your loved one feel more comfortable with the challenge that lies ahead.

1. Research the Options Available

Ideally, you should choose a doctor for treatment who specializes in the type of cancer your loved one has. He or she may also consider getting a second opinion before moving forward with treatment. This is especially important when the specific disease is rare, hard to treat, or represents a recurrence of an earlier cancer diagnosis.

2. Assemble a Team

Once your family member has chosen a cancer center and is moving forward with treatment, it’s time to get to know the health care professionals who will help your family on this journey. This may include social workers, nurses, physical, occupational and psychological therapy, nutrition and exercise specialists, clergy if your loved one is religious, caregivers in Douglas County, and even financial experts.

3. Learn to Read the Lab Reports

Your loved one will be having lots of tests, and knowing how to read the reports provides valuable information. Check out the guides available online from ASCO Cancer Foundation. You may also want to consult a cancer dictionary, such as the free resource provided by the American Association for Cancer Research.

4. Get Organized

Cancer treatment can be complicated. Plan to accompany your family member on appointments, both for support and to keep track of key information. Start a notebook or binder where you can save information like reports, provider names and phone numbers, important details, and other key data.

During this process, you may find you’re unable to keep up with your loved one’s care needs. Rather than running on fumes or sacrificing quality of care, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We provide part-time, live-in, and Douglas County respite care, ensuring seniors have the in-home support they need to maintain their safety and wellbeing while aging in the comfort of home. To learn more, please call us at 720-287-1685 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.