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What do I tell a person with cancer? 5 things to remember

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According to statistics, in 2021, nearly two million people were diagnosed with some type of cancer, and more than 608,000 people died from the disease. If you know a person who has recently been diagnosed, you may not know what to say to cancer sufferers, but it is important that you know how to address that person.

There are some phrases that must be avoided, such as «I know what you are going through» or «you should try this new diet,» since these types of comments only cause anguish and sorrow in people. For this reason, we present five phrases that you can say to a person with cancer.

5. I am here for whatever you need

A friend hugging another with cancer

If you don’t know what to say to cancer patients, it is best to be honest and speak from the heart, trying to be as empathetic as possible but always respecting their space and privacy. Let that person know that you are there for everything they need.

Saying this phrase might seem like a cliché, but it can be a real relief for a cancer patient who will probably need your help at some point for things as simple as some company time or grocery shopping.

4. What day can I visit you? 

A person hugging a friend with cancer

Above all, respect the privacy of the person who has been diagnosed with cancer since it is news that can negatively affect their mood. Do not try to force a talk or a visit because, far from helping, you would be causing greater discomfort.

This is a phrase that you can say to a person with cancer since it will let them know that they are an important person for you, that you care about them, and that knowing that if they do not want visits, it will not be a personal matter but simply a way of processing the news.

3. I am very sorry for what you are going through


If you are a person who has not had cancer, avoid at all costs using phrases such as «I know what you are going through» or «I can imagine how you feel» because, in reality, it is a situation that carries a physical and emotional burden that will be difficult to explain.

For this reason, perhaps it is best to say, «I am sorry for what you are going through,» since, although you cannot do anything to cure this illness, your friend or family member will know that their feelings are valid and justified and that they have someone to vent to.

2. Tell your friend that if they want to talk to someone, you are there for them


Do not try to force talks with a cancer patient, especially if you want to know more about the disease or if it is newly diagnosed. Give the patient enough space so that they can share with you everything they feel, but always at their own pace.

Mention to your friend or family member, «If you ever want to talk to someone, I’m here for you.» Send them messages sporadically without asking invasive or insistent questions, simply reminding them that you wish them the best and that you will always be there for them.

1. Do you need me to help you with something?

A woman supporting her friend with cancer

«Do you need help with something?» If you’re wondering what to say to cancer patients, this is one of the best phrases since it is possible that at some point they need or want your help or company. There will be times when the person wants complete privacy, but there will also be days where they require the company of other people.

Don’t hesitate to give your friend or family member options about the ways you can help them: by shopping, preparing some special food, going to buy their medicines, or just visiting them for a good time.

The post What do I tell a person with cancer? 5 things to remember appeared first on Mundo Hispanico.

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