What Should I Do First When I Am Diagnosed with Breast Cancer?

Question: What should I do next when I am diagnosed with breast cancer?

Answer: It's very important that women understand that a considerable time can elapse between the diagnosis of breast cancer and the treatment of that breast cancer and nothing bad will happen to the patient. That's why we have talked so much about getting second opinions, doing other things that will help a woman become comfortable in her choices. None of these choices has to be made so quickly that she has to drop everything and run and panic. The treatment of breast cancer is not an emergency. It may be urgent, it may be an emotional emergency. But whether a patient is treated the day after her diagnosis or six weeks later probably makes no difference in her outcome.

So that I tell patients the things to do when they have breast cancer diagnosis or breast cancer suspected is, first, what is the name of the problem, second, what is the extent of the problem, and finally, let's now fix the problem. From the very beginning of that to the very end of that may take several weeks, and a woman should not worry about how long that takes.

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