Relationships and communications cancer

Relationships and communication

Cancer doesn’t affect just one person. Cancer affects those closest to you including partners, family members, and friends. The complex feelings and lifestyle changes that follow a cancer diagnosis can be almost as overwhelming for family members and friends as they are for the person with cancer.

Cancer changes the way you relate to your family and friends, and the way they relate to you.

Communication becomes especially important for people with cancer and those who care about them. Lack of communication can lead to isolation, frustration, and unmet needs. People with cancer who don’t talk about their illness often feel they are facing cancer alone. Talking about and sharing feelings and needs together lets couples, families, and friends work with one another to solve problems and cope with difficult situations.

When feelings and wishes are left unsaid, you may be left with inaccurate or even hurtful assumptions about why the people who care about you are acting in a specific way. Sharing your feelings, such as sadness and fear, also lets others know how much you care for and love them. Talking about feelings and problems with honesty, sincerity, and openness can greatly reduce the stress that cancer places on relationships. If you are having a hard time talking with people, consider talking with a counsellor or social worker. Those closest to you may also benefit from talking to someone.

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