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Sharing Your Cancer Diagnosis

Everything You Need to Know When Telling Friends and Family about Your Breast Cancer

The time after being diagnosed with breast cancer is tough, and one of the biggest challenges you’ll ever face, especially if you're a man diagnosed with male breast cancer and the stigma that goes along with this. However, it’s not something you have to, nor should, go through alone, which is why you need to tell your friends and family; but this is but another challenge.

While some people will be open about their condition with their loved ones, others find it hard. It’s so important you don’t rush into the disclosure, but instead wait until you’re entirely ready to share.

There’s a lot to think about, all of which I’m going to cover in the paragraphs below, so let’s jump straight into the guidelines of what you should consider.

Take Time for Yourself First

If you want to jump right in and tell your loved ones because you feel like that’s the best approach, then do so. Everybody is different, and while I’m going to be talking about some ideas to think about, remember, your cancer journey is your own, and you should do what’s right for you.

If you’re taking time to think, then you’ll have some ideas to cover. Firstly, process the information. This might take a week or a month, or longer, it doesn’t matter. You don’t need to disclose anything until you’re ready and you’ve settled with the information yourself.

Once you’re ready, start thinking about who you’re going to tell. People who are close to you will be the best start, including your partner and parents, as well as the rest of your family, and even your children. Eventually, you’ll want to build up and tell your co-workers.

With each type of person, you approach, you’ll want to consider how you’re going to have the conversation. Some people you’ll want to share everything, and others not so much, so consider what you’re comfortable with. Of course, how you tell your partner about your cancer will be different from your children.

Get the Facts

For the benefit of both you and the people you tell, it’s always best to have the facts. Nobody wants to be bombarded with questions that you have no answers too, so get educated by talking with your doctor.

In many ways, it would be much easier to tell people in your life if you’re already on the road to embarking on treatment for your breast cancer because people will know where you’re heading.

Again, you’ll need to think about doing what’s right by you. If you want your partner to be with you from the start and attending the treatment meetings with you, then tell them as soon as you know. It’s completely up to you.

The thing to remember is that everyone will react to the news differently, and sometimes unexpectedly. My friend who had breast cancer told her mother because she wanted her to be there for her, but her mother, whom she thought was incredibly strong, broke down and became depressed over the news.

I’m not saying this to put you off telling the people you love, and it may seem weird that you need to think about others when you’re the one going through the treatment process, but that is how it is.

Usually, once people have had their own time to process the news, then they’re on board and will help you how they can. If people get very emotional when they hear the news, remember, it’s only because they love you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Support

The levels of support you’ll want from people will vary. You should never have to go through this journey alone, but then you may feel bad if everyone is fussing over you all the time. Instead, consider how much support you need and want from certain people, and then approach them with the news based on what you want.

If you’re good friends with someone and you want to tell them to be honest, but you want the support of your family, then tell them this. Tell them that they don’t need to fuss, but just being a normal friend to each other is all you really need.

Ashley Halsey is a professional writer at and who has been involved in many projects throughout the country. Also, she is a blogger at where she says healthcare and lifestyle tips based on her own experiences.

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