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For some families, talking about serious topics like cancer can be uncomfortable. But as hard as it may be, not talking about these issues can make things harder.

Be open to all forms of communication, especially if you have family and friends who may have trouble talking about the illness. Remind yourself that people express their emotions differently. Some like to talk things out and others express their feelings by doing things (i.e., washing the dishes or fixing things around the house). It’s also important to be supportive and listen to what your loved ones want to say. Understand that everyone processes their thoughts and fears in their own time and in their own way.

Tips on how to talk to your partner who has been diagnosed with breast cancer :

  • Remind yourself that everyone copes in different ways when receiving this news.

  • Remember that the best things you can do comes in the form of a hug, a kiss, a supportive talk or just listening.

  • Talk about how each of you are feeling.

  • Try to make time to focus on other things besides cancer.

  • Be open about how you are dealing with intimacy and your sex life.

Tips on how to talk to family and friends :

  • Talk with the people close to you. Try to be open and caring.

  • Ask a counsellor to hold a family meeting if needed. During stressful times, ask someone else to update others about how your loved one is doing.

  • When talking to kids, be honest about cancer and reassure them that there is nothing they did to cause this cancer. Be supportive about how they feel and listen to them.