There are very few things scarier than being told you have cancer. You may feel like you’re in shock. You may not even want to believe what the doctor has told you. And there are probably many questions you want to ask, but think you can’t because you don’t know where to start.
First of all, it’s OK to be overwhelmed. And it’s OK to feel afraid. But you shouldn’t let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have. Because the more you know, the less helpless and afraid you will feel. And the more you know, the better you will be able to work with your health care team to make the best choices for your treatment.
Remember, Hodgkin disease is usually very curable, even when it is advanced. The odds are very high that you will beat this cancer.
To recommend the best treatment for you, your health care team needs to know as much as they can about you and your cancer. The biopsy that showed you have cancer gives your doctor other facts. For instance, it can help your doctor determine what type of Hodgkin disease you have. It’s likely you’ll need other tests to learn about how far the cancer has progressed, called the stage.
You may need to work with more than one doctor or other health care professionals. Your health care team will include a doctor who specializes in cancer. Doctors who specialize in dealing with Hodgkin disease include hematologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. You will also have an oncology nurse. This team will answer any questions you may have. They’ll also help you through each of the steps you’ll take before, during, and after treatment. Your team will let you know what tests are being done and their results. They’ll guide you in making treatment decisions.