7 Things You Need to Know If You’ve Just Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

If you or someone you love has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, your mind is probably spinning. Here, our resident breast cancer columnist, Nancy Brier, shares seven things she learned from her experience that everyone should know: 1. It’s going to get better.  Getting a cancer diagnosis is a crazy, surreal experience. It’s for other people, I thought, when I got my diagnosis. What I learned is that those first moments, when the news is fresh and raw, is the hardest part. It might not feel like it now, but trust me, it really does get easier. Hang in there. 2. Deep breathing works. We’ve all heard about the benefits of deep breathing exercises. Yoga teachers, mindfulness trainers, psychologists, even medical doctors tell us that slow deep breaths help body and soul. If you’ve never tried it, now’s a good time to start. A few times a day, slow down and pay attention to your breath. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel. MORE: Four topics to discuss with your doctor after a cancer diagnosis. 3. A second opinion is mandatory. You need a second opinion, no exceptions. I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Michel Choueiri, a top oncologist who trained at MD Anderson and UC San Diego, and he urges all cancer patients to pursue a second opinion. In my own experience, it saved me from an unnecessary mastectomy and changed the course of my treatment. I’m really glad I did it, and I hope you'll consider it, too. 4. An advocate can save your life.  Take someo
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