A diagnosis of cancer

Discovering that you or someone close to you has cancer can be a shock. It may be difficult to take it all in. You hear the words, but somehow you don't believe it.

When you are first told you will probably absorb only the most basic information and even that might need to be repeated. This is normal.

You may be tearful and flat for some weeks. You may feel stunned and resentful to see life going on normally around you. It is normal to be afraid of many things, such as the cancer itself, treatment, pain, the effect the cancer has on your family and even death. It can be difficult to make decisions about treatment, what you want to tell family and friends or what to do at home and at work.

It is important to remember that over half the people who get cancer will be cured and, for many others, cancer and its symptoms can be controlled so they can live comfortably for months or years. There is always something that can be done for someone with cancer.

"It's not me — they've got the wrong person." Gill

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