It’s sometimes not easy to know what to say to someone with cancer. But its important for both you and them that you don’t avoid them or the subject. This can make things very difficult for you in the long run.
Here are five pointers to get you “talking cancer“
(your comments and suggestions are welcome)
- If you are not sure what to say or even whether they want to talk about it, let them take the lead. If they want to talk they will and you should be a good listener. Some people want to talk about everything, some people don’t want to talk about it at all. There is no right or wrong way for a cancer patient to behave.
- It’s ok to ask if they want to talk about it, you just need to respect their answer. In fact, it may be best to ask, unless they start the conversation first and then let them take the conversation where they choose.
- Silence is sometimes better than noise. It helps people think and they may have a lot going on in their minds. If there is silence its Ok to wait until something is said, if you have nothing to say.
- “Talking cancer” or about anything too much just because you think you should may be annoying, it may suggest that you are not paying attention to the persons needs.
- Smiling, and warm looks can get past the barriers of the illness to the person you know and love, if you don’t know them that well, silence, listening and showing understanding may be best. Warm touches for comfort may or may not be welcome and you need think if you would do this to the person anyway if they were upset about something else.
Dr Cohen started her working life as a research scientist and lecturer with over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications.
She followed a classical scientific career until she left mainstream science in 2000 (which coincided with the birth of her first daughter) to establish the Life Science Communications company, Euroscicon Ltd.
Euroscicon Ltd was her first company (which she sold in 2016).
In 2013 she was diagnosed with Cancer and set up Cancer Care Parcel
She also works with and establishes businesses and charities which benefit local, national and international communities via her company – The Pein Consultancy Ltd