According to the Susan G. Komen organization, one out of eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and this year alone, an estimated 246, 660 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed.
Despite the fact that breast cancer rates have been decreasing since about 2000, being diagnosed remains a frightening experience.
Three Steps to Cope With a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
While a breast cancer diagnosis can come as a shock, there are options. Follow these three steps to get back on your feet and begin coping.
1. Listen, or reach out for support
If your loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, now is the time to listen. People often feel overwhelmed by a breast cancer diagnosis, and a loved one may just need a shoulder to cry on. If you're the one who has been diagnosed, reach out to your support network.
2. Offer help, or enlist help
To help a loved one cope with breast cancer, don't wait to be asked for assistance. Instead, be proactive and take on certain responsibilities such as housework or the organization of a meal train. Your loved one will be thankful for the decreased daily burden. If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer, accept the help your loved ones are anxious to offer, and avoid the urge to assume you can do it all on your own.
3. Know your options
Knowledge is power, and nowhere is this more true than during treatment for breast cancer. Understand which treatment options are available to you or your loved ones, and which long-term survivorship resources you can access. One great example is breast cancer reconstruction surgery, a form of plastic surgery that is often covered by insurance. Reconstruction surgery can be performed in San Antonio or South Texas immediately following a mastectomy, or even years later.
It is natural for women to struggle with appearance or self-esteem throughout the course of their lives; this is especially true after losing part or all of their breast to a mastectomy. Breast reconstruction surgery can do wonders for the psychological well-being of breast cancer patients.
Looking Forward, With Hope and Positivity
Breast cancer is a terrifying diagnosis, but these three options can help you or your loved ones cope. With the help of good doctors, knowledgeable professionals and outstanding support teams, women are surviving and thriving, even with a breast cancer diagnosis, and you and your loved ones can, too.
Dr. Matt Bindewald is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in San Antonio, TX who specializes in performing reconstructive surgery after mastectomy.