19 Things You Should Never Say to Someone With Cancer

Having cancer is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. While it’s completely natural to want to help when someone tells you they have cancer, there are certain things you might be tempted to say that actually do more harm than good.

Here are 19 things you shouldn’t say to someone with cancer:

1. “At least you don’t have XYZ type of cancer.”

I appreciate you looking on the bright side of things, but that doesn’t really make me feel any better.

Cancer is cancer. Naming other cancers doesn’t change the fact that I do have a type of cancer, even though it might not be as severe.

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com

2. “Your hair might not fall out.”

Great, thanks. But what happens if it does?

Chances are, the chemo will at least cause my hair to become more thin and brittle. Unfortunately, telling me that won’t happen isn’t going to change anything… but thanks for getting my hopes up.

frantab / Shutterstock.com
frantab / Shutterstock.com

3. “Mortality rates have gone down in recent years.”

Don’t you think I’ve thought about death enough? Please don’t make me think about it anymore.

That’s great that the mortality rate has gone down, but I’d rather not be lumped in with a group of millions of other patients. My case is its own, and you don’t know the prognosis for my exact type and stage of cancer.

ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
ESB Professional / Shutterstock.com
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