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How Cancer Changes Things: A perspective on relationships after Cancer in the family

Cancer By Editorial Team , National Institute of Health / Jan 13, 2013
How Cancer Changes Things: A perspective on relationships after Cancer in the family

When someone in your family has cancer, things can change for everyone. These changes can be large or small. What it is like to have a parent or a brother or sister with cancer depends on a lot of things such as:

•    Who in your family has cancer.

•    What kind of cancer the person has and how it's treated.

•    How old you are.

•    If you have other people in your family or close friends nearby who can help.

•    Whether you live with two parents or with one.

•    If you have brothers and sisters at home and how old they are.

•    How far the person with cancer goes for treatment-across town or to another city or state-and if you can visit or call them.

•    How long the person has to stay in the hospital.

•    How well or sick the person with cancer feels.

•    Whether you can get the answers to your questions about cancer.

•    How easy it is for your family or friends to talk with you about cancer.

•    How easy it is for you to talk about cancer.

•    Whether your friends know what is happening to your family.

•    How your friends treat you.


Any of these can make a difference, and only you know how cancer has changed your life. One piece of information can't answer all your questions. This information was written to help you understand more about cancer and how it is treated. It may help you to understand the changes that may happen in your life. It also may help you understand and deal with feelings you have about cancer and about the person in your family who has it.

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