Orange Coast Radiation Oncology Center

A cancer diagnosis is always bad news and can cause the patient to feel overwhelmed, scared, anxious, and depressed. Needless to say, it’s a very unsettling time and it may be difficult to deal with your emotions and cancer treatment. The last thing a cancer patient needs is a friend or family member saying the wrong thing about their condition or trying to be supportive but being hurtful instead. At Orange County CyberKnife, our cancer care team wants to educate you on the best way to support a friend with cancer and avoid being insensitive.

Don’t Say This, Say That

Of course, a cancer diagnosis can be difficult to navigate, but there are definitely some things you should avoid saying to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer.

  • I know exactly how you feel.
    • Even if you’ve had cancer yourself, avoid saying this phrase. Each cancer patient is different,  and their feelings and emotions are as well. You will never truly know how they feel or what they are going through. Instead, try saying “I’m so sorry this happened to you, I am always here if you ever want to talk”. This lets your friend or family member know that you are there for them and will be supportive when they need help.
  • I’m sure you’ll be fine.
    • Although you may mean well when saying this, it can come across as making light of a very serious situation. Instead, Orange County CyberKnife recommends responding by saying “What can I do for you?” Offer your help, even if it’s something small, like building them a chemo care package. This can help your friend feel supported and a little more at ease.
  • Questions about time
    • Avoid any questions about time, even if the doctors have given a timeframe. These types of questions can be very overwhelming for the patient. Instead, don’t talk, just listen. Listen to your friend’s feelings and emotions. In these situations, sometimes the best support is open arms and open ears.

On top of these supportive words, it can be encouraging to help with small acts of kindness like setting up a meal drop-off schedule with other friends, helping with child or pet care, picking up groceries, or offering to drive them to and from cancer treatment appointments.

Contact Orange County CyberKnife for Cancer Care in Fountain Valley Today!

If you or a loved one have recently been diagnosed with cancer, contact Orange County CyberKnife to fully understand your cancer treatment options. We are conveniently located in Fountain Valley and serve patients from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, and everywhere in between. We look forward to helping you beat cancer and restoring your health.