Adjusting to Cancer

When you learn you have cancer, you may feel like your life has been turned upside down. Once the shock wears off, the process of making changes begins. You may have to rearrange things in your life as you start treatment. The symptoms and side effects may take a toll on both your body and your emotions. You may have to learn new ways of talking to your loved ones and to your health care team. And you probably have a lot of questions to ask about adjusting to all the new issues that cancer brings.

It can seem overwhelming at first, but knowing what to expect may help you feel more at ease. The sections below have tips to help you deal with these changes. See our caregiver section for other tips that may help your loved ones cope during this time.

Talking with Your Health Care Team
Tips to make it easier to talk with your doctors and learn about cancer and your treatment.

Changes for the Family
Information that addresses family changes for people with cancer.

Facing Cancer with Your Spouse or Partner
Practical and supportive information to help you face cancer with your spouse or partner. Includes tips to help improve communication.

Talking to Children
Information to help you talk to your kids, teens, and adult children about cancer.

Support Groups
Information explaining the types of support groups, the benefits of joining a support group, and where to find one.

Source: National Cancer Institute