Evelyn Wallace, Cancer Care Operations Manager, explains some of the issues that arise when people talk about cancer.
"Through our #LetsSpeakCancer campaign we want to highlight some of the challenges people with cancer can face when it comes to talking about their experience. Our nursing team tries to encourage straight talking about cancer in society – whether it’s at home, at work or in social situations.
Having spent the last 21 years speaking to people with cancer I know talking about it can be difficult – scary even – from the first symptoms, through diagnosis, treatment and then beyond. Cancer doesn’t just impact the patient, it takes a tremendous toll on their loved ones too.
In my lifetime, I’ve seen cancer survival rates improve to the point where, today, Cancer Research UK reports that half the people diagnosed with a form of cancer go on to live for ten years and more.* As surviving cancer becomes more likely, there are more people who want their life after cancer to get back to normal – or find a ‘new normal’. Which makes it more important for us all to become more fluent and less awkward in talking about it".
This is especially true after our research (of people who have or have had cancer and returned to work) revealed that, when asked about how people talk to them about their cancer outside work, over a fifth (21%) say most often people try to avoid the subject. However, 44% said they’d prefer people to be frank and open about it.
So, we’ve worked with people living with cancer to create a guide to help bridge this communication gap.
Download our guide - 6 steps to help you 'speak cancer'
Helping you find the way that works best for you to talk about your cancer and what you’re going through.
Let’s Speak Cancer Guide
Contact our Dedicated Cancer Nurses if you or a family member needs help and support.
And if you’re a manager of an employee with cancer, don’t miss our special Let’s Speak Cancer -- Manager’s Guide.