Cancer is a word filled with fear and dread. A cancer diagnosis not only affects your physical health but your emotions too. Your feelings are expressed in the 5 stages of dealing with the grief of a cancer diagnosis.

The Five Stages of Grief


Denial is the first stage. It’s a coping mechanism. Feelings of “I’m not even all that sick” and “there’s no pain, so all is fine” are a way for you to deal with the shocking news. Denying reality to avoid the disruption that cancer causes is easier.


Anger is the second stage. Anger manifests as questions of “why me?” and “what did I do to deserve this?” The deep sense of unfairness fuels your rage.


Bargaining is the third stage. “If only” you could have done something differently. Some people even try to bargain with your Maker with hopeful promises.


In the fourth stage, depression interferes with everyday activities. Depression recovery may need medical help, but sorrow is normal as your life changes dramatically due to cancer treatments.


Finally, when you’ve made peace with your diagnosis, you can put all your energy into fighting the disease.

Finding Your Treatment Partner

The right oncologist can help you with successful treatment and supportive therapy. Good oncologists should be empathic and well-informed regarding various cancers and treatment options. With the right specialist leading your fight against cancer, your chances improve dramatically to survive.

Find the best possible oncologist for you. Consult with several healthcare professionals to compare treatment options. Look for a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center with a search parameter like “oncologist Orange County.”

These facilities will offer highly credentialed and board-certified specialist physicians. Board certification assures you the doctor has the necessary skills, training, and experience to offer the best care. Remember: You’ve got this and you’ve got more control than you realize.