Cancer Discussion “Dos” and “Don’ts”

CURE, Fall 2016, Volume 15, Issue 4

THERE IS NO IDEAL, perfect advice for what to say and not to say to someone with cancer. Not only are people different, but the severity of their disease, how they’re coping with treatment and their stage of care all contribute to how they want their caregivers to talk to them. This list of “Dos and Don’ts” should be viewed as a set of guidelines based on the thoughts and experiences of cancer survivors, social workers, providers and caregivers. While there may be disagreement on what terms to use, the consensus is that, if nothing else, saying that you care and are thinking of the person, and just being present for them, is preferable to ignoring the cancer.