Alert
Close

Multiemployer pension cuts and what you need to know about pension provisions in 2015. Learn more

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

AARP REALPAD

Introducing RealPad by AARP

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

How to Explain Your Condition

People will look to you for clues on how to handle the news of your diagnosis.

Some of the biggest challenges cancer survivors face come from how others react to the diagnosis.

Often, friends, co-workers and even family members don't know how to communicate their concern. They may:

  • Avoid the topic — or you.
  • Pretend nothing has happened.
  • Make jokes to distract you from the disease.
  • Continue to see you as "sick," even when your cancer is in remission.
  • Continually tell you how good you look, ask how you really feel, or make other comments that indicate they see you as different.

 

The first couple conversations typically are the toughest. As you begin to tell people about your diagnosis, a few tips will make it easier for everyone concerned:

  • Practice telling people and responding to their questions and comments.
  • Don't feel you have to share anything about your condition that makes you uncomfortable. It's your personal decision. You can thank people for their concern and say you'd rather not discuss it.
  • Remember people will look to you for clues on how to handle the news. If you're open and calm, that will help them.
  • When you tell people, pick a private, quiet place. If you're comfortable with it, let them ask questions.
  • If you would rather just stick to the facts, consider telling people your diagnosis, what it means in lay terms, and your treatment plans.
  • With your friends, you may want to discuss your hopes and fears.
  • Give people time to absorb the information.

 

Deciding whether to tell your employer you have cancer is a personal decision. However, you can be protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) only if your employer knows about your disability. If you think your cancer or cancer treatment will affect your ability to work or carry out daily activities, it's a good idea to tell your supervisor.


Printed with permission from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center ©2010.

Medical Disclaimer for AARP.org

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Grandson (8-9) whispering to grandfather, close-up

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

member benefits adt companion

Members save on new installation of a ADT Companion Service® personal emergency response system.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points