Reframing Your Cancer Diagnosis – A Different Perspective

When cancer becomes a part of your life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the negative messaging surrounding it. The constant chatter on social media, in the news, and even from charities and medical professionals often paints a bleak picture. It’s no wonder that cancer patients are scared. However, I have found that reframing my thinking has helped me navigate my cancer journey. In this blog, I will share some ways to change your perspective on cancer and embrace a more positive outlook.


1) Think of cancer as a managed condition – not a death sentence

Instead of viewing cancer as a life-ending disease, think of it as a manageable condition like diabetes or heart disease. Even in later stages, it’s possible to maintain a near-normal life. If your cancer is small and doesn’t impact you daily by causing pain, focus on managing it effectively. You can live a fulfilling life and manage your condition for years.


2) Cancer can occur because of your lifestyle – it is not always a random event

The World Health Organisation suggest that 30-50% of all cancers are caused by lifestyle.  If you think about the lifestyle you had before cancer can you identify any areas which may have contributed to it’s development? Are you very stressed? Is your sleep good quality? Do you exercise? Have you smoked? There are many variables and this is not to add blame but rather to guide you to think, “if my lifestyle is a contributor, what can I change to improve my health?” Thinking this way and taking action also gives you back control of the situation. (See point 4) So, take this opportunity to reflect on your habits and be honest with yourself. Are there areas where you could improve your daily habits to enhance your overall health? You can positively impact your cancer journey by making radical lifestyle changes, such as improving nutrition, exercising regularly, managing stress, and adopting a positive mindset.


3) Prevention, prevention, prevention – even at stage 4

Don’t get fixated on cancer staging. Whether stage 1 or 4, the focus should be prevention. Even if you have a good quality of life with your cancer, it’s essential to prevent its spread. Research lifestyle habits that cancer doesn’t like and implement them as soon as possible. Every proactive step towards prevention can make a significant difference in the long run.


4) You do have control

At the time of diagnosis, it may feel like the cancer and your medical team are in charge of your life while you are just dragged along behind. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. You are ultimately in control of your care and decisions. Listen to your body, trust your instincts, and take charge of your health. While your medical team handles the medicines, you still have autonomy over your day-to-day life.


5) Cancer is an opportunity to reinvent yourself

Instead of dwelling on the possible outcomes, use your cancer diagnosis as an opportunity for personal growth. Embrace the uncertainty and make the most of the time you have. Let your life transform from diagnosis and visualise your remission. Embrace new experiences, relationships, fitness routines, and a fresh mindset. You may find that your cancer becomes the catalyst for a more fulfilling and meaningful life.


Reframing your view on cancer can be challenging, especially in the face of difficult treatment and constant updates from your medical team. However, the patients who have the best outcomes are often the ones who remain positive and adapt to the changes cancer brings. By embracing a more proactive and optimistic perspective, you can better navigate your cancer treatment and live a life full of hope and possibilities.

Blog post written by:

Victoria Walsh

Visit my website Cancer Coach  

Instagram vicversuscancer

Victoria Walsh

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