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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Managing Your Medical Care: Breast Cancer: Once A Treatment Decision Is Made


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  • Now that a treatment has been chosen, trust your doctor and your treatment plan. Raising any questions or concerns that come up does not mean you don't trust. If answers cause you to rethink your treatment, contact your doctor immediately.
  • If you will have a mastectomy or a lumpectomy that will change the appearance of your breast, consider starting reconstruction at the same time as your cancer removal surgery. (If health insurance pays for the initial surgery, it likely also pays for reconstruction).
  • Find out what medical and other preparation to take before breast surgery or before chemotherapy begins. For instance, there may be medications that you should stop taking for a while.
  • Start thinking about the practical aspects of your upcoming treatment. 
    • By preparing now, you can avoid the stress of catch-up at the same time you are dealing with treatment. Taking action can also help get through what is usually a difficult emotional time before treatment starts. The period prior to the beginning of treatment is usually one of the most stressful periods after a diagnosis.
    • Review the likely side effects of the treatment(s), and start planning for them now. For instance:
      • If chemotherapy will cause hair loss, consider getting a wig now. 
      • If you will have a lymph node removed or will undergo radiation treatment to the lymph node area of the underarm, learn how to help prevent and control lymphedema (swelling of the lymph glands). 
    • Think through your personal needs.
    • If you will be unable to carry on your normal responsibilities or chores, start making arrangements for other people to take them over.
  • If a doctor doesn't naturally become the leader of the medical team, choose a doctor to be in charge.
  • Set doctor appointments and treatment schedules that work for you.
  • Get an oral check-up and take care of any problems. Oral infections can have a negative impact on treatment.
  • Keep control of your medical care in case something happens and you become unable to communicate by executing easy-to-obtain documents known as Advance Health Care Directives and Advance Mental Health Directive. If you previously executed such documents, update them.
  • If you work, start making plans for any changes which may be required while you undergo, or recover from, treatment. See Newly Diagnosed With Breast Cancer: At Work
  • Consider who to tell about your condition and/or upcoming treatment. Once information is out of the bag,  you can't take it back. Tell children in an age appropriate way.
  • If you haven’t already, consider how you are going to pay for treatment. To learn how, see How To Maximize Use Of Your Health Insurance and Breast Cancer: Finances
  • Travel is likely possible now and during treatment if you make appropriate arrangements and take necessary precautions. Clear all travel with your doctor before you set plans. 
  • Start compiling a copy of your medical record, and get your other papers organized.
  • Start adopting a cancer prevention diet and lifestyle. 

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