What To Say To A Friend Who Has Cancer

February 4, 2013, 10:32 amprevention

Friends are great sources of support for women with breast cancer (or any serious illness), but it isn’t always easy to know what to do or say. Here, Breast Cancer Network Australia offers some sound advice

What To Say To A Friend Who Has Cancer


• Be available to listen. Cry with her, laugh with her, listen to her. Often, there’s no need for words.
Feel comfortable about talking. Many of us find it hard to know what to say. Just be yourself.
Phone her. However, keep in mind that, on occasion, even talking is tiring.
• Prepare nutritious home-cooked meals. Frozen meals that she can reheat and eat when she needs them are ideal. Help with housework, gardening or taking care of pets.

• Offer to drive her to appointments.


• Tell her about the latest treatment. Your friend’s medical advice is specific to her individual cancer.
Advise her on how she should be changing her diet or lifestyle.
Urge her to be positive. This might make it hard for her to talk honestly.
• Give up on her. Stick with her through the highs and the lows.
• Burden her with your fears and worries. Keep your own concerns under wraps—she’s already dealing with enough.

• Share horror stories with her.

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  1. Glib03:01pm Saturday 02nd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Do not take any advice from some nameless writer on Yahoo !! Use your OWN COMMON SENSE, and your OWN PERSONALITY !!

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  2. Ren09:18am Saturday 02nd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    These are good suggestions for family & friends to support a person diagnosed with a serious illness. As a cancer survivor, I believe it helped in my healing to have support. If you're not sure how you can help just ask. 'The things I learnt about cancer without doing a Google search' is an ebook that's an easy read & can help you understand what it's like to go through a diagnosis & treatment.

    4 Replies