Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and lifesaving.
Families share more than genes, physical features and medical traits. Other common elements—backgrounds, relationships, and dynamics—sometimes affect communication between family members.
In some families, cancer, breasts and ovaries are considered very private matters never to be discussed. Cancer and other illnesses are often associated with a stigma in our society. Some family members may be superstitious about discussing cancer, believing that may invite the disease and make it more likely to happen. This lack of communication can impede sharing of critically important health information between relatives.Despite these challenges, it is important to share medical information with relatives. Cancer and many other diseases can have a hereditary component. Screening or risk-management recommendations are different for people who are considered “high risk” due to a family history.
The best way to discuss health information is individual and depends on your relationship with relatives. Here are some tips for sharing: