9 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Who Has Cancer

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Here’s How You Can Avoid Unintentionally Hurting Their Feelings

Having a friend or family member diagnosed with cancer can be truly heartbreaking. We try our best to be there for them, making sure they have someone they can lean on.

While we try to comfort and encourage our cancer-stricken loved ones with positive and affirming words, some of us may not realize that some of the things we say can be insensitive for them. You’re offering your friend a couple of self-care tips, and the next thing you see is an annoyed look on their face, leaving you to wonder if their reaction had something to do with what you said. Rather than supporting them, you ended up unintentionally hurting their feelings.

So, what remarks should you refrain from mentioning then? How certain are you that your words are something that can help uplift their mood? As long as you avoid the statements below, then you certainly have nothing to worry about.

Here are nine things you should never say to someone who has cancer:

1.“Everything happens for a reason.”

Although you may be a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, telling it to a person with cancer can sound inconsiderate. It would seem that you’re suggesting that their diagnosis was meant to serve them a lesson. Rationalizing the illness is the last thing you’d want to do.

2.“You’re so brave.”

As good and empowering as this phrase may sound, it may not sound that way when you’re talking to a cancer-afflicted individual. Bravery means deciding to face scary situations, and a cancer diagnosis is apparently not one of them. The disease is something that can happen to anyone, leaving them with no choice but to deal with it.

3.“Let me know what I can do to help.”

This may be one of the first things we’d say to anyone with a serious illness, and to you, it may sound like a kind gesture. Surprisingly, its effect on a cancer patient can be quite the opposite. You’re actually burdening them by asking them to think about their responsibilities at home and picking those they can assign to others. Instead, volunteer to perform any tasks, such as taking out their trash, washing the dishes, walking their dog, or buying groceries for them.

4.“If only you’ve eaten right/exercised more/stopped smoking …”

This type of comment makes it look like you’re blaming the patient for getting the big C. Saying such may only further aggravate their condition. Imagine how you’d feel if you were in their shoes, with somebody telling you that you should’ve adopted a healthier lifestyle.

5.“Just be positive.”

To many people, positive thinking does a lot of wonders to their well-being. Unfortunately, being optimistic all the time isn’t something that can help cure cancer. A study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine showed no strong link between positive thinking and positive outcomes in cancer treatment.

6.“Look how thin you are now!”

To some people, hearing someone telling them that they’ve lost weight is flattering, especially if they’ve been working so hard for it. However, that’s not the case with cancer patients. They didn’t get thinner because they wanted to, but because of the treatments that they’ve been getting or the disease itself, along with the stress it brings.

7.“I heard about this diet that can help fight cancer. You should give it a try!”

While your intentions are completely pure, offering advice on how to treat cancer to a cancer patient is a no-no, especially if you’ve never been in their position. Whether you’re talking about a certain nutrition plan or any type of natural treatment, this might interfere with the intervention methods assigned to them by their cancer care team.

8.“At least you won’t have to undergo chemo anymore.”

Skipping chemotherapy is one of the few things cancer patients may consider lucky. However, they may still need to go through radiation treatment and surgery, both of which are also unpleasant and costly. Plus, the fact that cancers can reoccur would mean that chemo can become a necessity in the future.

9.“I read that many people have beaten the same cancer you have.”

The odds of surviving cancer are indeed getting better these days. Although this is good news, you wouldn’t want to get your friend or relative to get their hopes unrealistically high to ease their anxiety about their diagnosis. We hate to tell you this, but just because you believe that your loved one has a good chance of survival doesn’t make it necessarily true.


Extend Your Support to Needy Breast Cancer Patients

Wouldn’t it be great to help individuals suffering from breast cancer? By simply donating an old and no-longer-needed vehicle to us here at Breast Cancer Car Donations, you get to help turn breast cancer victims into survivors.

We’ll place your donation up for auction and transfer the proceeds to our nonprofit partners. These IRS-certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations have been working tirelessly for years to ensure that our nation’s destitute and uninsured breast cancer patients get to receive proper medical care and attention.

Thanks to your contribution, the beneficiaries coming from your area will gain easy access to top medical facilities where they can undergo full treatment, including surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy. Others will receive free breast cancer screening and prevention while those who have completed treatment will get to receive follow-up care and counseling.

To repay you for your generous deed, we’ll mail to you the 100% tax-deductible sales receipt of your vehicle days after its sale. This receipt will entitle you to claim the maximum tax deduction in the next tax season.

You can also count on us to handle all your paperwork and haul your vehicle away for free. Be assured that we can collect your vehicle anywhere in the country.

Best of all, your charitable contribution will allow you to experience the ultimate pleasure of helping save lives in your community. Nothing can ever top that!

We accept nearly all sorts of vehicles regardless of their age, mileage, or condition. Head over to this page to learn what vehicles are qualified for our donation program.

If you have any concerns or questions, feel free to call us at 866-540-5069 or write to us here. Check out our FAQs page for more information on our vehicle donation program.


Give Your Clunker a Brand-New Purpose Today!

It’s not every day that you get to save lives with a simple action. You’ll be in awe when you realize how big of an impact your unneeded car can leave on breast cancer patients. Call Breast Cancer Car Donations at 866-540-5069 or click this link to make your donation now!