First Steps After Diagnosis

A cancer diagnosis often comes with little warning, and you may be asking yourself, “Now what?” You’re starting in the right place. After the initial shock wears off, consider these steps:

  • Learn about your diagnosis. You’ll want to know the name of your cancer, its size and location. Ask about the available treatment options, their success rates and side effects. If you’d like to explore a second opinion, CHI Franciscan Cancer Care’s experts are here to help. We’ll always encourage you to ask questions, no matter how big or small they may seem, and share any concerns with your team. You may wish to bring along a loved one to lend an extra pair of ears and support.
  • Get to know your care team. At CHI Franciscan Cancer Care, we believe in a multidisciplinary team approach: doctors and providers who specialize in specific areas of cancer come together to create your treatment plan, all backed by the latest research and resources from across our system through the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation (CIRI). You’ll also have with access to clinical trials as part of your care.
  • Make your first appointments. To help you plan your cancer course, CHI Franciscan Cancer Care offers the largest patient navigation program in the South Sound, helping you and your loved ones find the care and resources you need. Prepare for your appointments by making a list of your medications, gathering any test results you may need and bringing your referring doctor’s contact information and insurance details.
  • Identify resources or support services you may need. Your navigator can also help you understand the resources available and help coordinate those services. In addition to therapy, nutrition and social services, we also offer a full complement of integrative therapies, such as acupuncture and yoga, and survivorship resources—to focus on bringing the body into balance through mind, body and spirit.

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