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Home  /  Integrative Cancer Care  /  Cancer Diagnosis Navigation

Cancer Diagnosis Navigation



Cancer Diagnosis NavigationI know that a diagnosis of cancer can feel extremely overwhelming. Life before a cancer diagnosis becomes different in life after a diagnosis of cancer.

What assists those in need to navigate through their cancer diagnosis?

Key strategies help cancer patients and also caregivers move through the essential phases of the cancer diagnosis. Explore these tips and steps to navigate a diagnosis of cancer.

Educating and empowering yourself with quality, comprehensive cancer diagnosis navigation strategies is incredibly important. One of the hardest time periods involves beginning to navigate the cancer journey and making cancer treatment decisions. Know that I am with you, and always wishing you optimal health and healing.

1. Find Ways to Relax and Resource Yourself

In the shocking aftermath of a cancer diagnosis, crossroads, and transitions during the cancer journey, the first step whenever possible is to find ways to relax and resource yourself. Explore this website to learn about supportive integrative cancer care approaches and practices.

Research indicates that people temporarily lose everyday basic skills when diagnosed with cancer, including communication skills, information seeking, decision-making, problem solving, negotiation, and speaking up for rights. Do your best to relax before proceeding in your process. Some calm must be felt so that you can access and utilize skills you possess to evaluate and navigate your health challenge.

2. Evaluate and Identify Forms of Support

People with cancer need support. Many types of support are described and referenced in the Social section. Get the help you need from family, friends, professional colleagues, support services, and spirituality. Find what works for you and meets your needs.

3. Consider how you want to participate in Research and Decision-Making

How do you want to participate in your research and health care decision-making?

Do you want research conducted and decisions made

  • by your doctor?
  • as a team with your doctor and loved ones?
  • by yourself?
  • by a loved one/s?
  • by an integrative cancer coach and navigator?
  • through a combination of these approaches?

Evaluate and choose what you are comfortable with. Approaches can evolve during your cancer journey.

Also read Social Tips for Cancer Patients with insightful guidance. Understanding common relationship challenges and solutions offers helpful information to enhance self-awareness and strengthen meaningful connections.

4. Research

Newly diagnosed cancer patients are often not sure how to conduct cancer research. They want to navigate their situation with high quality cancer resources to find the best cancer treatments. Take these steps in your cancer research process. For very detailed information about how to go through this cancer research process, visit Research section.

1. Collect and Review Cancer and Health Related Materials

2. Use Practical Tools

3. Identify Questions in Questions for Evaluating Cancer Treatments and Providers

4. Research Treatments

High quality research focused on cancer treatments is necessary. Research your diagnosis and treatment options toward the best possible care. Potential cancer treatments can be identified through researching providers and facilities. Research focused on cancer treatments should also be gathered through the following cancer information resources as well as in other topics throughout this website.

Top Related Cancer Information
Explore the Top Related Cancer Information when researching cancer treatments. Quality cancer related, health and healing resources are organized by topic. For example, if you are researching conventional cancer treatments, our cancer information guides you through your investigation with many helpful resources.

Locating Relevant Cancer Research
We educate you about using a free online tool called PubMed to find published research. Our guidance also refers to other research strategies through specific journals and additional resources.

Understanding Cancer Statistics
Cancer statistics are complex and can sometimes feel harsh. Statistics never predict the fate of a single individual. We explain the scoop about the real deal with statistics.

Evidence-Based Medicine
Learning about evidence based medicine helps clarify the value of studies to better inform the cancer research process. Definitions of evidence based medicine also illuminate the role of patient’s values in making cancer treatment decisions.

Personalized Medicine
Personalized medicine (also called precision medicine) is about finding the treatment to address the disease for each individual. Depending upon the approach, it can involve identifying some genetic, genomic, and clinical information, identifying specific treatments. Personalized medicine can involve various tests from different companies to collect information for each cancer patient, and then trying to identify molecular targets. Additionally, personalized medicine cancer treatments can also be related to immunotherapy. Some have been approved by FDA, and others in clinical trials.

5. Hire a Cancer Coach & Navigator

A quality cancer coach and navigator can assist you through your cancer journey.

As a cancer survivor since 1998 and extensive professional experience, my individualized person centered one-on-one support services as a Cancer Coach & Navigator can give you the following.

  • New cancer knowledge you’ve never known before
  • Enhanced decision-making 
  • Clear advice about ways you can improve your quality of life and potentially cancer survival
  • Essential insights with very meaningful assistance and support in your healing
  • Profound wisdom only acquired by some long-term cancer survivors

Get more information about how I can help you as a Cancer Coach.

6. Research Oncologists and Facilities

Explore Top Related Cancer Information to help you track down these components of your integrative cancer plan.

Oncologists with Expertise in your Cancer
Research oncologists with the goal of finding experts in your cancer diagnosis and/or to even help confirm your cancer diagnosis. Know that treatment recommendations may vary among oncologists. Identifying several oncologists will allow you to collect multiple opinions. Oncologists monitor disease status and provide information about conventional cancer treatments. Only a limited number of oncologists practice varying degrees of integrative cancer care.

Treatment Facilities
Research facilities to learn about oncologists and cancer treatment approaches. Know that there is variability between cancer treatments that are offered and recommended by different treatment centers. Some facilities have larger or smaller departments devoted to certain types of cancer, take more or less aggressive cancer treatment approaches, use different types of equipment and cancer-related tests, and conduct different clinical trials.

Comprehensive cancer centers typically have more physicians who specialize in treating one particular kind of cancer compared to community hospitals. For certain surgical procedures on rare tumors, studies indicate hospitals that perform more of these operations have significantly better outcomes. Some studies also suggest that outcomes for surgeries are generally best at high-volume hospitals that treat a large number of cancer patients.

Personalized Medicine
Personalized medicine is a newer realm with further advances offered by specific hospitals and oncologists. In the future, personalized medicine will be everywhere. For now, opportunities are better provided by more innovative places.

Integrative Departments
Treatment facilities may offer some form of integrative cancer care. Hospitals increasingly have an integrative department that may or may not be truly integrated at the medical center. Research integrative services available at treatment facilities.

Integrative Providers
Research integrative cancer care providers. Learn about the different cancer treatments offered by providers and their facilities. Identify some potential integrative cancer care providers for your health care team. These providers may be doctors including oncologists or highly trained in another discipline. People with cancer sometimes have several integrative providers with expertise in different areas.

7. Research Other Providers for your Integrative Cancer Care Team

Quality cancer care is not only about treatments for the cancer diagnosis and instead with cancer care for the whole person. Integrative cancer care improves quality of life and cancer survival. Identifying a group of quality integrative providers is essential to optimally supporting health and healing for people dealing with cancer. The full spectrum of comprehensive integrative cancer care will not come from one professional and instead through a team. Remember that integrative cancer care optimally tends to you as a whole person through body, mind, and spirit, including social and environmental health. Think about what that means to you and where you need more support. Explore Top Related Cancer Information Integrative Cancer Health and Healing Resources to help you track down these components of your integrative cancer plan, as well as other sections of this website such as Cancer Coach.

Whole Body Health Care
Even if you find an oncologist working within integrative cancer care, you will most likely need additional integrative providers with expertise in cancer to address your entire physical body. Consider integrative cancer medicine systems such as naturopathy, functional medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and ayurveda.

Mind
Caring for your mental and emotional inner life will support your health and healing. Incorporate ways to optimize your mind-body balance and vitality. You can do this through self-care as well as working with providers. Meditation, breathing techniques, imagery, movement, creative expression, massage, biofeedback, psychological support, and other approaches can be done alone, in groups, and/or with providers.

Spirit
The spiritual dimensions of life often become more prominent when dealing with cancer. As spiritual questions surface, opportunities for new knowledge about religion and spirituality emerge. Find spiritual support within yourself and from others.

8. Diet & Nutrition

Definitely begin improving your diet. People diagnosed with cancer are often not well-informed about the relationship between diet and cancer. Food has a very powerful effect in your body. Diet and nutrition alter your internal terrain and influences your genes. The nutrition in foods affects cancer both directly and indirectly. Some foods kill cancer cells and others promote cancer cell growth. Learn about cancer fighting foods to eat and what cancer causing foods to avoid.

Nutrition and cancer is one of the most important areas in an integrative cancer care plan. Educate yourself about foods and cancer as a priority. Eating cancer fighting foods can strongly influence your health and healing. Create a cancer diet to support your optimal wellness. Start with Cancer Diet for more information, and then Cancer Fighting Foods, Foods to Avoid, and Why Organic Foods?.

9. Consultations & Opinions

Meet with providers and collect multiple opinions about cancer treatments. While this phase can involve chaos with fear, trust that forward movement will occur. Also trust that any vulnerability that you feel contains your power.

Take these steps in your process with consultations and opinions.

1. Choose Oncologists and Providers for Consultations and Schedule Appointments

2. Ask for Support

3. Identify Questions for Appointments

4. Confirm your Diagnosis

5. Consult with Oncologists

6. Collect Multiple Opinions

7. Evaluate Opinions and Recommendations

8. Choose an Oncologist

9. Choose Other Providers for your Integrative Cancer Care Team

For more detailed information with guidance about moving through these steps with consultations and opinions, visit more information and assistance here to support you through this very important phase of your cancer journey.

10. Cancer Diagnosis Navigator

The navigation beyond a cancer diagnosis is not easy, and creating the best plan and path possible is available to you. For further information to help you achieve your goals of improving quality of life, cancer survival, and much more, visit Cancer Coach & Navigator, as well as other articles plus resources on this website.

Wishing you optimal health and healing.