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Ask A Doc:

A column addressing your most sought after health questions, answered by Harbin Clinic's expert healthcare professionals.

Ask A Doc: I have been diagnosed with cancer. What should I do now?

ask a doc gregory harris

A weekly column addressing your most sought-after health questions, answered by Harbin Clinic’s expert healthcare professionals

Question: I have been diagnosed with cancer. What should I do now?

Dr. Gregory Harris: “Cancer” may be one of the most terrifying words in medicine. For many, life changes abruptly and profoundly after a cancer diagnosis. Initial shock gives way to the realization of the tremendous physical and emotional challenges that may lie ahead. Beyond the emotional turmoil that accompanies a cancer diagnosis, patients face a real-world necessity: to develop a plan to live with and fight cancer.

Below are a few recommended steps you can take to manage your life after a cancer diagnosis:

Identify a trusted companion: For many people this may be a spouse, family member or close friend. Pick someone you can talk to openly.

Get organized: Start a binder or use electronic organization solutions like Evernote ( to coordinate appointments and other important information. Take it with you to each medical appointment and keep notes.

Get informed: Take steps to learn about your cancer diagnosis and treatment options — but do so at a pace that is comfortable and realistic for you.

If necessary, consider a second opinion: Cancer treatments can be complicated. Different doctors are likely to have different viewpoints and approaches. A second opinion may help you feel more confident in your treatment plan.

Through effective collaboration with other specialties within Harbin Clinic, the hematologist and oncologist team at Harbin Clinic Cancer Center provides care for the whole person, crafting a personalized cancer treatment plan for each patient. From prevention and advanced diagnostics to innovative technology and groundbreaking research, it’s Complete Cancer Care.

Dr. Gregory Harris is a board certified hematologist and oncologist at Harbin Clinic Medical Oncology Rome. To learn more or to schedule an appointment please visit:

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