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What to do when you are told, “You have cancer.” Pt. 1 of 12

February 27, 2010

#1. Ask for a copy of all reports.

Realize that whenever a doctor delivers those dreaded words, “You have cancer,” emotions will usually swell and overtake your reason. It is not unusual to become a basket case and immediately conclude you are going to die. Stop right there. Don’t start planning your funeral. You need to do one specific thing to keep you on a wise path: Ask for a copy of all medical reports.

The medical reports that doctors fill out are your reports. Frequently, hospitals or doctors will deny your request, or say it will take a couple of weeks to get the reports to you. This is nonsense. You need to firmly tell medical providers that you will not be leaving until you have a copy of all medical reports in your hands.

These reports will be crucial to becoming educated about your condition, and most importantly, securing second or third opinions about your diagnosis.

With regard to these reports, you will be receiving a lot of them. When you arrive at home, put together a filing system to keep all reports at your fingerstips. Don’t lose them.

By the way, doctors have been known to make mistakes. Don’t immediately conclude that you do have cancer until a second or third opinion weighs in. Pray it’s wrong. Prepare for it being correct.