The Do’s and Dont’s of Talking to Cancer Patients

In today's episode, Kyla and Mitch delve into the uncomfortable conversations surrounding cancer. With a compassionate and empathetic approach, they explore the reasons behind our anxiety when talking to someone with cancer. Discussing the fear of saying the wrong thing, the desire to reassure the patient, and the discomfort of confronting our mortality, they draw from their experiences and conversations with cancer patients; Kyla and Mitch shed light on the various ways individuals cope with their diagnosis. They address people's common missteps when engaging with cancer patients, such as offering dismissive reassurances or prying into personal details.

In this episode, Dr. Mitch Winkler and Kyla King discuss the discomfort that often arises when talking to someone with cancer. They explore the reasons behind this anxiety and offer insights into how to navigate conversations with cancer patients.

Dr. Winkler emphasizes the importance of empathy, active listening, and avoiding common missteps and provides valuable tips for supporting friends and loved ones with cancer while acknowledging the individuality of each person’s experience.

“Companionship is a really powerful therapeutic in ways that we still don’t quite understand,
but I know it from my work, and I know it from my own personal life, the power it can have.”
~Dr. Mitch Winkler

This Week on Cancer Covered:

• Anxiety plays a significant role in our discomfort when talking to someone with cancer.
• Cancer patients often don’t want their illness to define them and prefer to maintain a sense of normalcy.
• Many cancer patients feel othered and isolated due to visible signs of treatment or people avoiding them.
• Blanket reassurances can feel dismissive and diminish the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis.
• Good listening skills, empathy, and avoiding probing questions are essential when talking to cancer patients.
• Offering specific, concrete help and acknowledging your own discomfort can be meaningful gestures of support.

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No one should carry the burden of cancer alone. A cancer diagnosis can make you and your loved ones feel isolated and alone – just when you need support the most.
Our social workers at Green Bay Oncology know that meaningful connection brings strength and healing. Sharing the experience in a safe space with others on a similar path is often powerful and therapeutic. That’s why we offer a free monthly virtual and in-person cancer support group facilitated for you and your loved ones.
Wherever you are on your cancer journey – you are always welcome.

To join us, visit:

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