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15 February 2011

Living with cancer - family matters

Families face many challenges when someone has been diagnosed with cancer. Apart from the emotional effects there are also practical aspects which need to be taken care of.

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Families will react in very different ways. In crises families tend to behave the way they always do, just more pronouncedly so. If a family is into avoidance, this is how this situation will be dealt with. Or if they are generally supportive, that will be the main trait of how they deal with a cancer diagnosis in one of the members of the family. Family counselling might ease the situation for everyone.

 

Decisions, decisions. It is possible that practical things may change for a while and that the person with cancer may need extra assistance and care. Discuss the options and deal with practical issues such as transport to and from medical appointments, possible home nursing if necessary, what to tell friends and family, medical costs, leave from work, the division of the household tasks for the time the family member with cancer may not be able to perform his/her share of the housework. There is no point at all in avoiding these topics as they are much easier to discuss beforehand than when they arise.

(Liesel Powell, Health24)

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