Coping After A Diagnosis

Oct 31, 2022
Coping After A Diagnosis
Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients.

Hello, Warriors! Welcome to The Breast Place blog and thank you for taking time out of your active schedule to visit! We appreciate our readers to the utmost degree, as we do our patients. If this is your first visit to The Breast Place blog, we welcome you. We cover a range of topics here. From breast cancer management to anti-aging skin treatments to helpful tips for maximizing your overall health and wellness—The Breast Place is committed to sharing the best health practices and treatment options with you! Our offices are open and our staff is prepared to answer any questions you may have about your health, your breast cancer risk, and how to reach your aesthetic goals. 

At The Breast Place, we offer several oncoplastic surgical procedures, such as natural reconstruction, nipple-sparing mastectomy, Hidden Scar™, implant reconstruction, and breast lift with or without reduction. Oncoplastic surgery is distinct from both breast cancer surgery and plastic surgery–though you initially assume oncoplastic surgery to be a mixture of both. Rather, the aim of oncoplastic breast surgery is “to achieve good aesthetic outcomes for women with breast cancers who would have unacceptable outcomes with other BCS techniques, and in addition, enable breast-conserving surgery for larger breast cancers.” While breast cancer surgery prioritizes the eradication of cancerous tissue and plastic surgery prioritizes the cosmetic appearance of the breasts, oncoplastic surgery takes both of these aspects into account when planning for the final outcome. You can find out more information about what to look for in an Oncoplastic surgeon here. 

In our last blog, we finished up our discussion about benign breast disease. Benign breast disease is generally defined as the development of benign breast lumps. There are many different types of benign breast disease, such as breast cysts, fibroadenomas, and mammary duct ectasia. These conditions can affect both women and men, but it is far more common in women. Check out the first part of our discussion here before you move on to part two! 

Before we continue with today’s topic, we’d like to make you aware of what we have to offer at The Breast Place this month. October is almost over, which means the spooky season is coming to a close! However, there’s still time to check out our spooky specials! This month only, get $500 off EMSCULPT NEO packages and facial rejuvenation packages, as well as 40% off all Environ products and iS Clinical’s Extreme Protect SPF 30. You are BOOtiful– Let us help you embrace it! Stop by our office or reach out to us to purchase products. We can even ship them to your door!

Today, we’ll be discussing coping after a breast cancer diagnosis. Receiving the news that you have breast cancer is undoubtedly scary, and it’s safe to say that many people fear ever seeing that day. Besides skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. After receiving a diagnosis, you may experience a vast range of emotions from fear and anxiety to anger and sadness. You may be unsure how to cope, or find yourself asking questions such as, “Where do I go from here?” This is completely normal, and it is important to note that you are not alone. Although you cannot change the past and the future may feel uncertain, there are steps you can take to care for yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically after a diagnosis. If you are interested in learning more about coping after a breast cancer diagnosis, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started.

Dealing With Emotional Side Effects

First and foremost, you are bound to struggle with emotional side effects after a diagnosis. There is no right or wrong way to feel– It is different for everyone, and you may go through many emotions. You might feel anxiety, fear, sadness, numbness, anger, or disbelief– Or a combination of all of the above. These emotions might change from day to day, or even hour to hour. The first thing you should try doing is validating these feelings. They are valid indicators of your experience. For some, it might be difficult to convey your feelings to loved ones. In this case, you may find speaking with a counselor or oncology social worker helpful, as they can help you navigate your emotions and develop more effective ways of coping. 

There are a variety of resources available. For example, the Susan G. Komen breast cancer organization offers resources such as informational videos, podcasts, toolkits, and even a helpline that allows you to speak with a trained specialist or oncology social worker. You are also welcome to contact us here at The Breast Place for local resources. Our knowledgeable professionals are here to listen, treat, and make life more hopeful.

Here are some other helpful tips for coping after a breast cancer diagnosis. 

Be informed.

One of the most helpful things you can do after a diagnosis is to be informed. Sometimes, the feeling of uncertainty can cause a lot of anxiety. It is important to know the basic facts about breast cancer, especially about the type of cancer you have been diagnosed with. You can find a fact sheet about breast cancer here. If you are unsure about the type of cancer, you should ask your doctor. It may be helpful to compile a list of questions to ask before an appointment– This will not only educate you but will help you feel in control. Some examples of questions you may want to ask include:

  • What type of breast cancer do I have?
  • What is the stage of my breast cancer, and what does it mean?
  • What treatment options are available? 
  • How will we decide on treatment? 
  • How soon do I need to start treatment?
  • How will my treatment impact my daily activities?
  • Do I need to see any other doctors or health professionals?

You can find a comprehensive list of questions from the American Cancer Society. You can also ask your doctor, or the medical professionals here at The Breast Place, for resources or educational materials.

Discuss your concerns.

You may find it helpful to discuss your concerns with your doctor, a nurse, counselor, therapist, or even with your loved ones. Let them know what is on your mind. Additionally, you may be worried about breaking the news of your cancer diagnosis to friends or family. How can you make them aware while you are still coming to terms with the diagnosis yourself? How and when do you tell them? The truth of the matter is that how and when you tell them, and who you tell, is a personal decision. You may choose to tell only a few people, you may choose to tell those closest to you privately, or you may choose to make people aware of your diagnosis on social media platforms such as Facebook. This is all up to you– Do what you are comfortable with. You can let them know about your diagnosis and provide a few basic facts based on the information you have received, or you may not want to say too much until you find out more from your doctor. The way people react to this news will depend on how close they are to you– Plus, everyone handles news differently. The most important thing is to remember that you do not have to put on a “brave face” just to benefit others. 

Don’t be afraid to take steps to look and feel your best.

Surgery, chemotherapy, or other breast cancer treatments can have unwanted side effects that cause you to be unhappy with your appearance. Give yourself time to adjust to changes to your body, learn about options available to you, and do what makes you feel comfortable. When experiencing hair loss from chemotherapy, some women prefer to wear wigs because it makes them feel good, while others are perfectly comfortable with their new appearance. Do what makes you feel empowered! This is part of the reason why we started our EMPOWER Aesthetic and Wellness Clinic here at The Breast Place. Life is challenging, but we want to help you find beauty in all things– Including yourself. We offer a variety of treatments and services such as facial rejuvenation, scar revision, body contouring, and laser hair removal. If you feel that any of these treatments will help you feel your best, go for it! You do not have to let the unwanted side effects of cancer treatment diminish your confidence.

As you can see, a breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, and it’s okay to feel anxiety. Luckily, there are strategies that can help you cope. We hope you found this article informative and we hope you reach out if you have any concerns. Here at The Breast Place, we are dedicated to helping you feel more confident in your skin. We offer injectable treatments such as Botox, Juvéderm, and Dysport, as well as other facial rejuvenation services such as laser treatment and more! Additionally, we offer breast imaging services and provide consultations, clinical breast exams, and dedicated treatment plans. We strongly encourage you to reach out to us for a consultation if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to our service areas– We are committed to empowering women, and we are proud to offer treatments and products to help you look and feel your best. Thank you for taking the time to read today’s article and we hope you’ll check back in for future posts about treatments, wellness, and more!