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Do I Tell Anyone I Have Cancer?

Whether to share the news you have cancer with others can be a very personal decision. You're probably not sure what to do or how much to reveal.

Some people with cancer choose to tell their loved ones only; others find it helps to let people they come in regular contact with know about their diagnosis. When people decide to tell others, they may do so for these reasons:

  • It's too big and scary to deal with alone.
  • It lets other people give support.
  • It gives family and good friends a chance to say how they feel.

People who decide not to share their diagnosis have given these reasons for not doing so:

  • They're not ready to talk about it.
  • They're afraid that other people will be scared.
  • They think other people may not want to be around them.
  • Saying the words out loud makes the cancer more "real."
  • They don't want others to feel sorry for them or change how they treat them.