If there is a universal truth to treating cancer, it is that a diagnosis presents a life-changing moment for the patient, their friends and family.

The following factors are not intended to be comprehensive, but merely a starting point for newly diagnosed patients to keep in mind. The foremost thing to remember is to always have hope.

1. Be prepared

Pay close attention to the information conveyed by the physician during the initial visit. Perhaps even bring a family member or friend to take notes

2. Know your options

Understand the benefits and potential adverse reactions from each treatment option: surgery, radiation treatment, chemotherapy or other forms of therapy

3. OTC?

Inform the physician and treatment team of all prescription and non-prescription medications including over the counter or herbal supplements

4. Find balance

Avoid being completely sedentary, but balance activities, sleep and diet

5. Don't go it alone

Maintain spiritual and emotional support from friends, family and loved ones

6. Reflect often

Keep a journal or log of past appointments and future scheduled doctor visits and tests

7. Socialize selectively

Avoid exposure to people with known transmittable infections during active treatment such as the cold or flu