- After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families
- What is cancer?
- Who gets cancer?
- Am I going to die?
- How do I cope?
- How do I talk to people about having cancer?
- Making treatment decisions
- Common types of cancer treatment
- How is treatment planned?
- What should I ask my doctor?
- Will I be able to work during treatment?
- Will I be able to exercise during treatment?
- How will cancer affect my sex life?
- How will I pay for all of this?
- What other resources do I have?
- To learn more
Am I going to die?
It’s normal to think about dying if you’ve just been told you have cancer. You may feel better knowing that the outlook for many people diagnosed with cancer is very good. Many people still believe that “cancer = death.” But the fact is that most cancers can be treated. There are more than 14 million people living in the United States today who have or had cancer.
The survival rate among different cancers varies greatly, so you’ll want to look at how well treatment works for your type of cancer. Numbers can give you an overall picture, but keep in mind that every person is unique. Statistics can’t predict exactly what will happen to you. Talk with your cancer care team if you have questions about your own chances of a cure, or how long you might survive your cancer. They know your situation best.
Sometimes people are found to have a fast-growing or widespread cancer and are told that they might not be expected to live very long. This is hard to hear and take in. The American Cancer Society has other information that may be helpful in these cases, such as Advanced Cancer or Nearing the End of Life. Call us to have free copies mailed to you, or visit www.cancer.org to read them online.
Last Medical Review: 02/20/2015
Last Revised: 02/20/2015