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Communication Guide: How To Talk To Cancer Patients

Communication Guide: How To Talk To Cancer Patients

Speaking about cancer diagnosis with patients and their loved ones can create various emotional reactions. Helping to prepare patients for difficult conversations can relieve tension and improve their outlook on life.

Your medical staff can learn strategic communication that allows patients to feel more confident and at peace speaking with those closest to them about their condition. So in this article let’s talk about how to achieve effective communication with cancer patients.

Read More: Understanding How OCM 2.0 Works

How To Have Better Communication With Cancer Patients

Never Ignore The Patient

People want to feel like they’re seen and heard. So when you are speaking with cancer patients, listen to them first before speaking. It shows respect for the situation and emotions.

Patient-Centric Approach

When speaking with a patient with cancer, always make it about them, not you. Remember that they are the ones with this condition. Furthermore, you may be able to probe what they already know about their condition and prognosis before volunteering additional information.

Keep The Family’s Loved Ones In The Communication

With the patient’s permission, share treatment goals, care plans, and outcomes with their family. This can include timelines and expectations. This shows respect for their circle and helps them feel more comfortable that other people understand their health situation.


Understand the patient’s goals for family and for life. You can link their care to ways that it will improve their quality of life. Someone may not be excited about several tests or treatments.

However, when they understand how it can improve their ability to show up in their life in a meaningful way, their perspective may change. Maintaining a positive attitude is essential for those dealing with cancer. This is true for both the patient and their loved ones.

Work As A Team

Speak with your entire medical team about the different structures, treatments, and collaborations that can create the best outcome for the patient. Ultimately, more heads are better than one.

Prepare Difficult Information

Instead of simply discussing difficult-to-hear information, prepare the patient first. Simply tell them that you’re going to be sharing some bad news. This will help them understand the gravity of what you’re about to say.

It will soften the impact of your words and allow them some space to understand what is happening. If they have a poor response, don’t be afraid to provide some tissues and simply sit in silence. Allow them to process their emotions in their own way.

Take Your Patient Communication To The Next Level

Ultimately your health practice seeks to improve patient outcomes and quality of life by adhering to combining proper oncology care with the right communication. You can guide patients in the right steps for better emotional and physical health.

So reach out to Guideway Care today and learn how you can improve health outcomes, financial performance and care quality all at once.

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