Living with cancer

Talking about cancer

Telling family, friends and colleagues about the diagnosis of cancer is something that many people find difficult - who to tell, when and how. There is no simple 'right answer' for what to do, but there is support and advice available. 

You can find practical suggestions for talking to healthcare professionals in our Talking to members of your healthcare team section.

Key points to remember are: 

  • Cancer is not something to be ashamed of.
  • Sharing your situation with family and friends you can talk to gives them an opportunity to help and share their feelings with you.
  • Keeping the diagnosis to yourself can isolate you and distance you from those who do care and want to be there for you.
  • People will react differently and it is often hard for them to know how to act towards you - you may need to help them too.
  • Do what feels right for you and your situation, either at home or at work.

If you have been affected by cancer in some way and would like to talk to someone about what you have read or need help finding information - you are welcome to drop into any Maggie’s Centre or to visit Maggie’s Online Centre and talk with a cancer support specialist.