Your body has the incredible ability to tell you when something is wrong. It's important not to ignore symptoms because you're afraid of the underlying issue.
The earlier your cancer is diagnosed, the greater your chance of survival and the easier it is to treat.
If you have any unusual symptoms it is important to ask your doctor immediately and ask these two simple questions:
1. What could my symptoms indicate?
2. How can I alleviate my symptoms while I go through testing and wait for the results?
If you or your doctor suspect that you may have cancer, it’s normal to be overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety and fear. The period of time you spend waiting for test results or a referral to see a specialist can seem like an eternity.
Here are some coping mechanisms to get you through this stressful period:
1. Control your thoughts. Whenever you start to have negative thoughts try to push them out and focus on something that makes you happy. Easier said than done, but worrying won't solve anything. Acknowledge that the thought is there, breathe a deep, slow breath, and pick an action: start something on your to-do list or something that you enjoy, try doing something relaxing, or reach out to a friend.
2. Keep busy. Create a structured schedule and do your best to stick with it.
3. Make good use of your nervous energy. Do things you've been meaning to, like cleaning out closets or organizing your drawers.
4. Know that you are not alone. If you're not comfortable talking to friends or family, search for support groups online or ask your doctor to refer you for professional counseling.