Sigal Atzmon, CEO and founder of Medix Global, provides her expert opinion on the initial steps to take if you, or a loved one, are diagnosed with cancer
Most of us will at some point know someone who has been affected by cancer. Diagnosis can be incredibly difficult to deal with, however the key to navigating this worrying time is seeking the right support as early as possible.
Even waiting for results can often feel slow and frustrating, as in many cases a clinician will need to do a biopsy to give an accurate cancer diagnosis.
From here on, having access to the right health professionals is vital during your medical journey. Medical advancements and improved access to healthcare have meant that more people are surviving cancer every year.
Seek advice from a multidisciplinary team – a collective of specialists who can review your case across a range of medicinal fields in order to create your personal treatment plan.
At Medix, the company I founded over ten years ago, my team and I review and manage medical cases for customers around the world. In 20% of these we have recommended a change in diagnosis and in over 40% we have recommended a change in treatment.
While you will undoubtedly do plenty of research, with so much information available the research can be overwhelming. It is difficult to objectively know what information is from a reputable source and what is relevant for your specific case.
Your clinician, or better yet, a medical case manager can help you make sense of your diagnosis and your treatment plan. Having an additional medical professional consult with the specialists on your behalf not only guarantees that the right questions are being asked but also makes the answers far more accessible and easier to understand.
As Laurene Powell Jobs wrote of her husband Steve Jobs during his illness: “One of the big issues in the healthcare industry is the lack of caseworkers or advocates that are the quarterback of each team”.
Talk to friends and family, you’re going to need their help. This is arguably, the most challenging time of your life but with their support you needn’t feel alone. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing with loved ones, there are plenty of online communities which can offer support and professional psychologists that specialise in trauma and pain management should certainly be considered.
Ultimately, take control of your diagnosis and treatment plan. Seek the right help and don’t leave any stone unturned.
Tagged in Cancer