Tips for Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Patients

  1. Don’t panic. Breast cancer is NOT a medical emergency, but it certainly is an emotional one.
    Take your time, gather the details of your diagnosis, seek whatever opinions you wish and then
    make a treatment decision that is right for you.
  2. Gather all of your information. Create a folder or 3-ring binder with ALL of your
    information: breast imaging reports, lab results, pathology reports, etc. Bring this information
    to all of your initial physician consultations. Keep a notebook or journal and take notes at each
  3. Don’t be afraid of the internet. The internet is a great source of information, but it can be
    overwhelming. Stick to the well-known and trusted sites.
  4. Bring someone with you to the initial consultations. There will be a lot of new and
    unfamiliar information given to you at the initial consultation. You will be understandably
    anxious and a second pair (or more) of eyes and ears will help you remember and process
    all of the information later. If you can’t bring someone with you feel free to record our
  5. The consultation and treatment process will not always go smoothly. The treatment of
    cancer is complex, multidisciplinary and requires much coordination. While our goal is to
    make the process as efficient and streamlined as possible there will invariably be glitches
    along the way. Have patience and if you think things are not moving as quickly or as smoothly
    as you think they should please let us know.
  6. Don’t keep your cancer diagnosis to yourself. Often, patients who try
    to keep their diagnosis a secret aren’t successful for long. We recommend you share it with your
    closest friends and family as they may become upset if you don’t. Also, there are many
    support groups available in the community and through Columbus Regional Health Partners
    that we can help identify for you.
  7. Everyone’s cancer is unique and requires a unique treatment approach. You will receive
    many opinions and recommendations from family and friends. They mean well but they don’t
    know the special circumstances of your diagnosis. Our goal is to develop a care plan that takes
    into account all of your special medical information as well as your lifestyle and is one that you
    are comfortable with.
  8. Review the Breast Care Manual. Before your surgical oncology consultation with breast surgeon Dr. Carlos Vieira, please review the manual that will be provided to you. It has the information I’ve referenced in this tip sheet and much more. The more you know before the consultation the easier it will be to make treatment decisions.