Someone I know has Cancer

If your friend, relative, colleague or neighbour has cancer, it can be hard to know what to do for the best. We can help you find the right words and give you some tips to help you.

Sometimes the smallest things really can make the world of difference.

Be A Good Listener

There’s no magic phrase that is the ‘right’ thing to say. The important thing is that you’re there and you listen. Stay in touch whether through a visit, phone call, card, letter or email.

Many of us aren’t sure what to do when someone we care about has cancer. But often just being there for the person is the most important thing. Being a good listener will help you show empathy and support the person. Here are some tips:

  • Let your partner, relative or friend know that you have the time to sit and listen.
  • Turn off any distractions such as your mobile phone or the TV.
  • Show you are giving them your full attention. Nodding and making eye contact are good ways to do this.
  • Check you understand what they are saying by asking follow up questions or repeating back what you’ve heard.
  • If your relative or friend tells you their fears or worries, it’s important to let them be sad or upset.
  • Remember that silences don’t have to be awkward. Touching their hand or putting an arm around them may help more than words.
  • Don’t be afraid to respond to humour.
  • Try not to offer advice that hasn’t been asked for.