Scott: Doctor, a question that we get asked to ask doctors a lot is, what should I do as soon as I get diagnosed with cancer? There's often a feeling of panic and people are scared, they get told, ok, you know what, I can get you in tomorrow to start chemotherapy. I mean, what should people do, first couple things they should do when they get that diagnosis?
Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez: Take a deep breath, seriously, and not panic. Patients who panic always make bad decisions. Nobody in the history of the world has made a good decision in the middle of a panic attack. Having a diagnosis of cancer, particularly if it's an aggressive, advanced type of cancer is devastating. We understand that. But you have to get control.
Patients who do the best, and we've seen this repeatedly, even though they have a terrible diagnosis, take control of the situation, decide they're not going to rush into any treatment, be it conventional or alternative. You know when you have cancer, everyone you know becomes an expert. The postman, the health food store owner, your cousin from Topeka, your grandmother, everyone knows what you should do. You gotta ignore, we call it background noise. Ignore that. Take a deep breath. Go to the... fortunately everything's on the internet now. And start looking. If you're interested in conventional medicine, go to a really good place like the Mayo Clinic. If you're interested in unconventional, start looking into it on the website. But don't make a decision quickly.
There are some cancers like acute myelocytic leukemia where people have several weeks to live unless they do something. In that case, even we would say do chemo first, get it stabilized, then come and see us. But the first thing not to do is to panic. Panic always leads to bad decisions. People make decisions because they're emotional and they're half crazed and they don't know what to do and they usually end up making the worst decision.
In this interview from 2012, Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez discusses that moment after getting a cancer diagnosis. He offers some advice on what to do, what not to do and who to listen to for help and advice to help you find a good treatment option!
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