Navigating a cancer diagnosis and tips for telling people

A cancer diagnosis can be a frightening experience for you and your family. Breaking the news to family and friends can be an emotional and personal decision. However, it can also provide you with the support and comfort you need during this challenging time. While there is no right or wrong way to share this news, there are some tips that can help you navigate this conversation.

Telling Family and Friends

  • Share your news when you feel ready
  • Ask for help from someone who is aware of your situation
  • Be prepared for questions
  • Keep boundaries that you are comfortable with

Telling Children

  • Share your diagnosis in an age-appropriate way
  • Ask a family member or medical support person for assistance
  • Reassure your children that they are not at fault and cancer is not contagious
  • Provide comfort and answer their questions honestly

Telling Work Colleagues

  • Schedule a meeting with your manager or HR
  • Be clear about your needs and limitations, but remain open to solutions
  • Consider flexible work arrangements such as reduced hours or working from home
  • Discuss potential impact on workload and deadlines
  • Ask for confidentiality or control over who is informed of your diagnosis
  • Utilise resources such as employee assistance programs and support groups

Remember to be kind to yourself and take the time you need to prepare for these conversations.

Life may evolve in unexpected ways after a cancer diagnosis, but it can also bring opportunities for personal growth, resilience, and new perspectives. At Zurich, we understand every cancer journey is unique and we’re here to help you feel healthier with Zurich Evolve. If you or someone you know is living with cancer, read our holistic support guide.

For more information visit:

Cancer Council of Australia

Cancer Australia