Proper Way to Tell Your Family You Have Cancer


Having to endure cancer can be an overwhelming challenge, but it is harder still to break the news to a loving family. There is no escaping that though, for the support of a family is one of the strongest factors that can get you through your hard time. The existing impression that cancer is a deadly disease makes it harder for people to digest this kind of news, but that prejudice can always be dealt with. So if you’re in that phase where you haven’t figured out how you can inform your family about your cancer without making them devastated, here are a few things you can do.

Know Your Disease

First, figure out what you are dealing with. It will be helpful if you are aware of the situation completely – such as what kind of treatment you shall undergo, the expenses of it, factors that can aid in getting through the times, how it would impact the routine of your life, and so on. This information can be obtained from your doctor, therapist or survivors who have successfully tackled cancer. All that you need to make sure is that you seek out the positive spectrum of answers, because feeling fine about facing this challenge is the primary necessity to face it.

Be Positive

Secondly, determine that you do feel fine about it, and you are prepared to beat the disease. This sense of positivism on your part shall make it much easier for your beloved ones to support you. Cancer is no more a challenge it used to be, with the rate of survivors increasing every day. You only have to see this as an obstacle that you shall soon pass.

Group Your Family Together For Your News

While most people would believe that a one-on-one conversation would be best when you have to convey intense news, it actually works against you. In fact, it is best if you can bring your entire family together and let them interact normally before you announce your news. This can help them draw courage from each other when you inform them, and share the same with you, hence making it easier for everyone to receive the news with minimum pain. If you can, keep kids away from this conversation unless you’re sure they will be able to carry on with their lives the same way as before. For, even though it doesn’t mean anything would change, kids would be a little more skeptical in cases where parents or close relatives are involved.

Keep the conversation as casual as you can. While it is necessary to make them realize you are conveying something serious, you need not get them ‘prepped’ for it. Start with something like, ‘Okay, there’s something I have to deal with, and I guess I’ll need your support for it.’ This gets their attention enough without inculcating a sense of fear.

Be Honest and Tell Your Family How You Feel

Keep it honest. If you do feel fear, confess it to your family for you need to get it out of your system, and they deserve to know how you feel. Feeling fear or crying out is not at all a sign of weakness, it will in fact enable your closed ones to understand your situation better. Make sure, however, that such momentary breakdowns do not last and you assure them that you are confident about making it through.

Be deliberate about what help you might need from you family – emotional support, financial perhaps, or even just their presence. Everyone shall be understanding, and breaking the news this way shall reduce half your pressure for you will know you are no more fighting it alone. Stay brave, yet honest with your family and they will ferry you through.


No one wants to have this kind of conversation with their family. Everyone wishes to have a happy and healthy life. If this situation does happen to you remember to understand your illness, always stay positive, tell your family in a group atmosphere, and be honest with them. These steps will ensure that your family will understand your situation and help you through it.

To our readers: if you’ve had this type of conversation with your family before please let us know what helped you so we can tell our readers.