It’s predicted that just over 19,371 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Being told that you have breast cancer often comes as a huge shock. Many women don’t experience any symptoms or signs of the disease, so are often not fully prepared to receive the news. But the good news is that survival rates are improving all the time, with as many as 9 out 10 women beating breast cancer, thanks to early detection. However you are feeling about your diagnosis, it’s important to take some time to think about what you need to get through the here and now.
Looking After Your Emotional Well-being
Once you have received your breast cancer diagnosis, it may take some time for it all to sink in. You may feel confused, shocked, upset and anxious. These are all very natural responses. It may help you to talk about your treatment options with your doctor and loved ones, and get as much information as you need. Breast Cancer Network Australia’s ‘My Journey Online Tool’ can provide you with additional information from breast cancer specialists and support for each stage of your breast cancer journey. You may also find it helpful to join a cancer support group and meet other people who are going through the same experience as you.
Cancer Health Insurance
Receiving a cancer diagnosis propels you along a rollercoaster journey of appointments, tests, treatments and possible surgery, all of which can incur considerable costs. While you may still be struggling to come to terms with your diagnosis and impending treatment, it’s important that you know what is covered by your private health insurance policy. If you do not have suitable private patient hospital cover and earn above a certain amount then you may be required to pay a tax on your income, known as the Medicare levy surcharge (MLS). Once you have your health cover in order, you can then concentrate on your treatment and recovery.
Nutrition During Treatment
Eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods during your breast cancer treatment is particularly important. It will help to ensure your body has what it needs to cope with the treatment. But don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your diet doesn’t haven’t to be perfect: just try your best to eat as healthily as you can. If you don’t have much of an appetite, try to eat little but often, while also ensuring that you are drinking lots of fluids. You can boost your diet by adding ingredients rich in kilojoules, such as butter, cream or cheese to your meals. It may help to speak to your doctor or a dietitian for advice on a healthy eating plan during your treatment.
It’s shocking to hear the news that you have breast cancer. Dealing with this news while preparing for treatment can be a lot to take on. So take some time to concentrate on your emotional and physical well-being. Meanwhile, making sure your health insurance is in order will give you and your family one less thing to have to think about during this difficult time.