You've Been Diagnosed With Cancer. Now What?

A cancer diagnosis comes with a wide range of emotions and questions. You might feel scared, confused, or angry. You might be wondering what caused your cancer and if there was anything you could have done to prevent it. 

You might also be wondering — what do I do now? 

To answer that question, keep three things in mind: First, you’re not alone. Second, you are a cancer survivor — you became one on the day of your diagnosis. And third, as a cancer survivor, you have the support of your healthcare team, your loved ones, and the millions of people in the US who are cancer survivors alongside you. 

5 Tips for Coping With a New Cancer Diagnosis

  1. Get informed. Gather as much information as you can to inform your future care decisions, such as the stage of your cancer and what your treatment options are. 
  2. Lean on your healthcare providers. Ask questions, get second opinions, and keep the lines of communication open. 
  3. Seek out support. Ask your family and friends for help when you need it, such as with running errands and preparing meals. 
  4. Prepare for physical changes. Talk to your provider about what physical changes to expect (such as side effects from treatment), how they may affect your day-to-day life, and what you can do ahead of time to cope. 
  5. Keep your health a priority. Staying healthy — including eating nutritious food and getting enough sleep — will keep your energy levels up and may reduce treatment side effects. 

At LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center, we are here to support you every step of the way. From the first day after your diagnosis to life after cancer, our cancer experts will provide you with exceptional cancer care and ongoing support when you need it the most. 

Where Can I Find More Information About My Cancer Diagnosis? 

You may already know the basics about cancer. It occurs when cells in a specific part of your body grow out of control. This can make it hard for your body to work properly, and it can spread to other parts of your body (called metastasis). 

But each cancer diagnosis is unique. Your cancer type, how much it has progressed (called cancer staging), and how it responds to treatment depend on a wide range of factors. 

Your number one resource for your cancer diagnosis is your cancer care team. These specially-trained healthcare providers will guide you through treatment options, what to expect after treatment, and what comes next. You should feel comfortable asking questions and discussing concerns about anything that impacts you as a cancer survivor. 

While your care team is a crucial resource, you also play an important role in what comes next. Take the time to understand what cancer is, how to manage your cancer care, and how to cope with your cancer diagnosis. Equipping yourself with knowledge can ease any anxieties and help you feel more included in your care. 

How is Cancer Treated? 

Cancer treatment varies widely depending on what kind of cancer you have and how advanced it is. You might have only one treatment, or you might need a combination of treatments. 

Cancer treatments include: 

  • Surgery, which is a procedure to remove cancer from your body, especially when it’s confined to one area
  • Chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer by slowing or stopping cancer cells from growing
  • Radiation therapy, which uses high amounts of radiation to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy, which helps your immune system fight cancer and other diseases
  • Targeted therapy, which impacts proteins that control the growth, division, and spread of cancer cells
  • Hormone therapy, which slows or stops the growth of cancer if it uses hormones to grow

You may also have the option to participate in clinical trials, which involve using new and innovative treatments on people. Clinical trials help researchers find new ways to prevent, find, and treat cancer and help manage its side effects. 

Should I Take Part in a Clinical Trial? 

At the center of many medical advancements is a group of people who have taken part in a clinical trial. These trials involve anything from new medications to new surgical procedures to new ways to use treatments that already exist. 

People choose to participate in clinical trials for many reasons. One reason is to contribute to cancer research, helping to save the lives of others. Another is to gain access to the newest treatments and additional care from healthcare providers running the clinical trial. 

Choosing to take part in a clinical trial is a personal choice. It can depend on your type of cancer, your ability to dedicate time to a clinical trial, or other factors. You may also want to consider your loved one’s wishes regarding your treatment. 

Clinical trials provide another avenue of treatment — and additional hope — for those battling cancer. What’s more, they offer a chance to help others affected by cancer in the future. 

How Can LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center Support Me?

At LSU LCMC Health Cancer Center, we understand the impact of cancer on you and your family and friends. From diagnosis through the completion of treatment and beyond, our team of cancer care experts is here for you. You’ll have access to high-quality cancer care, a team to help you find the right treatment, and connections with others who are going through similar experiences. 

We are always growing in the Louisiana community, providing our communities with the resources it takes to live as a survivor. Together, we can take steps toward improving the lives of people locally and globally who are impacted by cancer. 



Apply For Membership

Find a Member