- After Diagnosis: A Guidefor Patients and Families
- What is cancer?
- Who gets cancer?
- Did I cause my cancer?
- Can cancer be inherited?
- Why me?
- Am I going to die?
- How do I cope?
- How do I talk to people about my diagnosis?
- Making treatment decisions
- How is treatment planned?
- What should I ask my doctor?
- Will I have pain?
- 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 this?
- What other resources do I have?
- To learn more
The first question that comes up for many people who have been told they have cancer is, “What did I do wrong?” or “Why me?” Because doctors don’t know for sure what causes cancer in each case, many people come up with their own ideas about why they have the disease.
Some people believe they are being punished for something they did or failed to do in the past. Most people wonder if they did something to cause the cancer. Some think that if they had done something differently, they could have prevented the disease.
If you are having these feelings, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. All of these thoughts and beliefs are common among cancer patients. But cancer is not a punishment for things you did or didn’t do in the past. Don’t blame yourself or look for ways you might somehow have prevented cancer. Cancer is not your fault, and it’s almost never possible to find out its exact cause. Focus instead on taking good care of yourself now, both physically and emotionally.
Last Medical Review: 03/08/2012
Last Revised: 01/25/2013