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How to talk with friends and family about colorectal cancer, asking for support

Sharing your diagnosis

The American Cancer Society suggests:


  • People who live alone away from family often have a few extra needs compared to those who live with others. Let close friends know what’s happening.
  • Think ahead so you can tell them what they can do when they ask how they can help. Be as specific as possible about the kind of help you need. For example, tell them when you need a ride to the doctor, or find out if they might be able to help with house cleaning, yard work, or child care. There will be times when you don’t know what you need, but even just saying that will be helpful. It also gives them a chance to offer something they can do for you.
  • As you talk with others, you may want to write down the questions that come up so you can discuss them with your cancer care team.
  • Tell the people close to you how you’re feeling, this is sometimes hard to do, but it’s healthy to let others know about your sadness, anxiety, anger, or other emotional distress. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you may want to find a support group or a mental health counselor to help you.
  • When you keep other people involved and informed about your illness, it helps ease your burden.
  • Friends and family can share their strength and concern with you and with each other, which can be helpful for everyone involved.

Managing the disease


Learn what to expect and how to manage colorectal cancer (colon and rectal cancer) every step of the way. 

Things to consider


Learn about important things to consider before choosing a surgeon, undergoing surgery and more.

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