How to Cope When a Family Member Is Diagnosed With Cancer


Receiving a phone call that a parent, sibling, or beloved aunt is diagnosed with cancer evokes a series of unexpected emotions. The initial shock hits like a ton of bricks but won’t last. It will soon be overshadowed by other feelings like anger, sadness, guilt, and grief. You can also expect anxiety and the fear that, someday, you may become a cancer victim as well; you will remember all the times you were asked during medical checkups if cancer runs in the family.

Several things can be done to help yourself, family members, and friends cope with a cancer diagnosis. Talk about the situation, the possible changes, treatment options, support systems, and the help you can provide. Research the type of cancer that was found, and the potential physical and emotional changes that may transpire.

Assisting your loved one in these trying times will be tough but rewarding. Develop a strong coping strategy. Understand how this disease can change a person recently diagnosed with cancer and study proven support techniques. The following tips can also be useful in your endeavor:

Be prepared to adjust your attitude and support. Patients have good and bad days. Also, know that it does not get easier when another family member is diagnosed with cancer. Expect the same emotional turmoil.


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