Some people can find it difficult to talk to someone who has been diagnosed with cancer. You often want to help but may not be sure what to say. You may find you have to talk about difficult things with your employee, but it’s important to keep communication open. Not talking will make things harder to deal with.
The person who has cancer may struggle to talk too. Everyone reacts differently when faced with a serious life event. Some people find it easy to talk about their thoughts and feelings, while others are more private.
Cultural differences matter too. Some languages don’t even have a word for cancer. In some communities, it is taboo (something people don’t think they should mention).
Be aware that some people may be embarrassed to discuss the physical details of their cancer. They may prefer to speak to someone who is the same gender.
Some people who are looking after someone with cancer may not think of themselves as a carer. They may also not feel comfortable talking about their personal life in the workplace.
Talking about cancer is difficult at first, but it can be helpful for everyone. There are things you can do to make your conversations easier.