Breaking the news

6 minute read time.
Breaking the news

Do you need help telling your family and friends about your cancer diagnosis? Read this blog for some friendly advice from those who have been there, it may help you break the news.

This blog is a collection of lived experiences from our forums. We have gathered a collection of posts where members share how they told their family members and close friends about their cancer diagnosis.

Talking about cancer

It’s natural to worry about telling others you have cancer. Talking about cancer is probably something you never thought you would need to do, but now you find yourself thinking about how you are going to tell your family and friends you have cancer. It’s not easy starting difficult conversations but we are here to help. Who you tell is your choice and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to tell people you don’t feel comfortable with.

Talking about your situation can help people support you. Talking can also make you feel better, as though a weight has been lifted off you, even if nothing has changed. It may also help you to feel less alone.

Whilst processing your own feelings you may also be worried about dealing with the reactions of others. For practical tips to help you deal with other people’s reactions and for guidance for having difficult conversations, read this Macmillan Information page.

Additional reading and resources

Do you want to tell your 'breaking the news' story to help others who are looking for some practical tips? Use the comment box below to tell us how you shared the news of your cancer diagnosis with your family and friends.

Do you need emotional support?

Alongside accessing peer support here on the Online Community, the Macmillan Support Line teams are also here for you. Sometimes it can help to talk things through with someone who’s there to listen. They’re available 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on freephone 0808 808 00 00email or live webchat.

When you contact the Support Line there will be options to speak to the Information Nurse Specialists, the Information and Support advisers, and the Money and Work teams. They can provide emotional support, practical information, and financial guidance alongside offering a listening ear.

We hope this blog will be a helpful resource for you to use when talking about cancer and you will consider some of the support options mentioned if you need some further information and guidance. 

  • I've had to cope with three occasions of sharing cancer diagnosis; my son age 17, osteosarcoma, now 31, my husband, anaplastic thyroid cancer, six weeks between diagnosis and death and now me, HVP tonsil cancer with two lymph nodes involved...but with a good prognosis.

  • Hi  

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us. It sounds like you've faced incredibly challenging circumstances, coping with not just one, but three occasions of sharing a cancer diagnosis. I'm sorry to hear about the losses you've endured, especially the quick progression of your husband's cancer.

    It's positive to read that your prognosis is good. Please give our Support Line a call if you ever feel the need to chat to someone about what you are going through and feeling. They can help with questions you may have about your diagnosis and they can simply be there to chat with if you need a listening ear. 

    Best wishes,