Breaking the News

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Breaking the Bad News.

Breaking the Bad News to the Family

Getting bad cancer news from your doctor is very hard. Telling your family and friends can be even harder. Now there's help.

A new program from the University of Heidelberg in Germany helps cancer patients get much-needed support from the people in their lives. Alexander Marmé, MD, presented the findings at this week's meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology.

"There are two major problems here: anxiety, enhanced by a lack of knowledge," Marmé says in a news release. "Patients are afraid of talking about their illness with relatives. They don't know how to deal with it. The lack of communication causes additional stress in personal relationships."

Marmé and colleagues interviewed 58 cancer patients. Most thought they already communicated well with their partners but saw room for improvement.

To this end, the researchers have set up one-day workshops for cancer patients and their partners. The aim is to teach them the communication skills needed to get support -- not only from one another, but also from family and friends. It's called the GOALS program:

"Our program aims to break down the barriers and encourage people to discuss their cancer openly and appropriately," Marmé says. 

Source: Daniel DeNoon,

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