Cycle of Fear
FEAR OF CANCER. Did you ever say: "I can deal
with it as long as it's not cancer?" Don't let your fear
paralyze you. Just like the other one million Americans who
are diagnosed each year*,
you can deal with cancer.
DENIAL OF SYMPTOMS. Either you don't notice or you
don't want to admit that there is something going on with
your body tht is not right. Your denial may keep you away
from the doctorpossibly preventing you from an early
FEAR OF DIAGNOSIS. We are all familiar with this fear.
"Whatever it is can't be good," you say, "so
do I really want to go to the doctor to get my suspicions
confirmed?" Yes. The sooner you seek medical advice,
the sooner you will know what problems you are facing and
begin to treat them.
FEAR OF OUTCOME. Can I lick this? Will I survive?
What if I don't? These are tough questionsyou should
focus your attention on living one day at a time.
FEAR OF RECURRENCE. You've been given a clean slate.
Maybe your doctor used the word, cure. But can
it really be true? Will the cancer ever truly be gone? You
can never be 100 percent sure. But what I elect to do is focus
FEAR OF SCREENING. You may be afraid that a screening
test is going to be unpleasant or even worselead to
bad news. Don't let this fear keep you from seeking the medical
attention you need.
FEAR OF TREATMENT. We have all heard that cancer treatments
are worse than the disease. This is not true. Modern technology
and new medicines are making cancer treatments easier and
Cycle of Hope
CONDUCT SELF-EXAMINATIONS. Simple self-examinations
between physical check-ups often can help you detect certain
cancers in their early stages. Self breast and testicle examinations
can be performed at home.
INSIST ON STATE-OF-THE-ART TREATMENT. New developments
are made every day in cancer care. Make certain your doctor(s)
are current with new procedures and are providing you with
the best, most appropriate treatment options. This may include
particpating in a clinical research trial.
KNOW YOUR RISKS. Age, race, smoking, prior family
history, and prior health history are some of the known risk
factors for cancer. Once you know your risks, you can be on
the lookout for symptoms. But keep in mind that ultimately,
everyone is at risk for cancer.
LEARN THE SYMPTOMS. Awareness of cancer's warning
signals leads to early detection. Be in tune with your body
and if things do not seem right, get them checked out.
LEARN ALL TREATMENT OPTIONS. Modern medicine offers
more opportunities than ever before. Make certain your doctor
informs you of the pros and cons of all treatment options
that are right for you. You should also ask your doctor about
clinical research trials.
MAKE YOUR TREATMENT A TEAM EFFORT. A team approach
can improve your treatment and recovery. Your cancer team
may include a medical oncologist, a radiation ocnologist,
and a surgeon.
OBTAIN EARLY DIAGNOSIS. Many experts agree that early
detection can probably prevent more deaths than any other
The earlier you seek medical attention, the better your chances
are of beating cancer.
SCHEDULE REGULAR SCREENINGS. Screenings, such as a
mammogram and sigmoidoscopy, should be performed by your primary
care physician at the recommended age and frequency. Screenings
can detect changes in the body.