Jan 26, 2015 10:00 AM

Author: Cancer Learning Center

Finding the right words when a loved one has cancer can be difficult. Like any other person facing a difficult time, your loved one needs to know that he or she is not alone. Here are some tips to help you keep communications open:

Be honest. Express your love, fears, and feelings as best you can. Many patients say that it is better to hear the wrong thing than nothing at all.

Offer to help. Asking for help can be overwhelming to your loved one. Rather than saying “I’ll do anything you need,” suggest specific ways you can help, such as providing child care, meals, or rides.

Listen. Remember that your loved one also needs to communicate. Be sure to listen at least as much as you speak.

Respect. Show respect by supporting your loved one’s treatment decisions and ways of coping.

The Cancer Learning Center has books, videos, and CDs with information about communicating with cancer. To learn more, call 1-888-424-2100 toll free.

Cancer Learning Center

Huntsman Cancer Institute

caregiver patient and family support cancer learning center

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