Being told that you have breast cancer usually comes as a shock. For many women there are no outward signs or symptoms of the disease. For others who experienced symptoms, it’s quite normal to have hoped that there was nothing to worry about.
Whatever your situation, and however you’re feeling about it, it is important to know that breast cancer has a high survival rate, especially when found and treated early.
In the weeks following your diagnosis, you might feel like you’re being bombarded by information. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, keep in mind that you don’t need to make any fast decisions. Nor do you need to rush into having surgery right away. It’s fine to take a little time and think about what feels right for you.
If you do start to feel overwhelmed, try to slow down and take things one step at a time. Here are some practical suggestions to help you through:
- Give yourself permission to pause and think about what you need to get through right now. BCNA’s My Journey can help you.
- Take your time and make sure you understand the information that you are given.
- Take small steps. Breaking things down into small steps helps to keep things manageable and reduce stress.
- Ask for more information if you need it. This will help you manage your health in a way that works best for you.
- Find a medical team that you are comfortable with.
- Write a list of the ways in which you can participate in your own health care; small things like being well prepared and asking questions can go a long way.
- Consider taking a family member or close friend with you to medical appointments, so they can listen and take notes for you.
- Be kind to yourself and remember that most Australian women survive breast cancer.
- Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to let others help you and your family.
Using this website
BCNA has designed this website to be as user-friendly as possible. It is carefully set out to help you find the information and support that you might need following your diagnosis. If you get stuck, or just can’t find what you’re looking for, use the search bar at the top of the page.
As soon as you feel ready, you might like to visit these useful pages:
- Getting through the first few weeks
- Sign up to My Journey
- Your medical team
- Talking to family and friends
- Often talking to others online and sharing experiences can help. Our Online Network can connect you with others in a similar situation.
- If you are a pre-menopausal woman, you might find our section on breast cancer and treatment for young women especially helpful.
- If you are a male and have received a breast cancer diagnosis, our section on Breast cancer in men is the place to visit for information specific to you.
- If you are working at the time of your diagnosis, our section on work and breast cancer may help you to evaluate your work and financial situation.
- If you are a friend or colleague of someone with breast cancer, you may want to visit our Helping a friend or colleague with breast cancer page.
- Cancer Australia's website has a comprehensive information section about breast cancer.