How to Tell the People In Your Life About Your Diagnosis

When it comes to telling others about a breast cancer diagnosis, there are numerous reasons patients have difficulty putting to words what they’ve learned. Saying it aloud means it’s real—but it also begins the process of coping.

At The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction, we know how tumultuous telling loved ones about a diagnosis can be. Here are some ways you can ease into sharing the information with your family and friends.

Take your time. Though it’s important to share this information with the people closest to you, know that you can tell them when the time feels right for you. You don’t have to do it all at once, and you don’t have to tell everyone. Prioritize the people you need to tell first. You can tell them to share the news with others by phone or e-mail, or you can do it yourself.

Tell your children. The sooner you inform your kids that you have breast cancer, the better. Be direct and make sure to use the word: “Mom has cancer.” They need to hear it from you—your explanation will be far less scary than what they will imagine is happening. If they have questions, simply answer them and move on.

Tell your parents. As with your children, the sooner your parents know you have breast cancer, the quicker they can adapt to the situation. Speaking up may not be easy. After all, no one wants to cause their parents pain and anguish, especially if they are elderly. But if you do plan on telling your parents, you can enlist the support of a sibling or close family friend to help you break the news.

Need more encouragement? Find out how other women dealt with their breast cancer diagnoses