Talking to family and friends about breast cancer can be hard. You may have feelings of sadness, fear and shame that can come with cancer. You might also feel that you’re burdening them with your worries and concerns. It’s important to give your family and friends the chance to talk openly with you and, at the same time, it’s important for you to listen to their thoughts and feelings. Maintaining a strong relationship with family and friends who support you can help you avoid feeling isolated and lonely.


Tips to talk to family and friends:


  • Have the conversation in a private and quiet space. Avoid distractions like the TV, phone or computer.

  • Have someone who already knows about the diagnosis with you for support.

  • Ease into the conversation.

  • Don’t worry if there is a pause in the conversation or if it is silent.   


 Tips to talk to children:


  • Be honest and calm when you have the conversation with your children.

  • Try to have another adult in the room with you for support.

  • Be prepared to repeat the information and give your children time to ask questions.

  • Ask your children to tell you how they feel.

  • Encourage your children to ask questions and let them know it is okay to come to you if they are concerned or worried. Keep communication open and honest. Do not be afraid to say you do not know, but that you will find out.


Family and friends can also help you with practical things like getting to and from treatment, doing housework, cooking meals or taking care of children or pets. Remember to include your family or friends in your treatment plan.