How Do You Cope With A Cancer Diagnosis?

People fear a diagnosis of cancer more than heart failure, though the odds of surviving cancer are usually greater. Nothing generates panic, anxiety and a sense of hopelessness like the words, “You have cancer.”

“Most people know very little about cancer beyond horror stories – painful treatments that with agonizing side effects that end in death,” says Kevin P. Ryan, M.D., a 30-year hematologist oncologist, retired Air Force colonel and clinical professor at the University of California Davis School of Medicine.

“Of course, not all treatments are painful or accompanied by debilitating illness. Not all forms of chemotherapy cause hair loss. And many, many cancers are very survivable!”
Dr. Ryan says a lot of the terror and emotional pain that comes with a cancer diagnosis, and throughout treatment, can be alleviated if the patient is well-informed and participating as an autonomous decision-maker.

He’s the author of “When Tumor is the Rumor and Cancer is the Answer” a new book and the first to give new cancer patients, their families and loved ones comprehensive information, from medical/physical issues to emotional and spiritual ones, in plain English.

“First and foremost, I tell patients to remember what works best for them in frightening times,” Dr. Ryan says. “Almost always, that is to nourish and sustain yourself in the company and care of those who love you and whom you love.”

Dr. Kevin Ryan graduated Phi Beta Kappa and AOA from Georgetown University and Medical School with highest academic honors. He was awarded a National Cancer Institute fellowship in immunopathology. Board-certified in Internal Medicine and Hematology Oncology, he retired as a highly decorated colonel from the U.S. Air Force where he served in a variety of capacities, including chief of Hematology Oncology and Director at a number of medical centers and Medical Director/Director of Tricare Region 10 Lead Agency. He is well published in Oncology literature and is a clinical professor at UC Davis School of Medicine,. He is a 30-year cancer survivor.

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