When a coworker is diagnosed with cancer, it’s hard to know what to say. You want to be supportive of your coworker, but you also want to make sure that you don’t say anything that might be hurtful. This Today Health article lists what to say (and not to say) to a cancer patient. Here are some of their tips that are also helpful for coworkers of cancer survivors:
- Let them know you care by offering practical help, such as assisting with a project or donating vacation days.
- Be as normal as possible. Most survivors will want things to be as normal as possible when they return to work. You can help them with this by keeping your conversations focused on work.
- Respect privacy. To whom a survivor wants to share their diagnosis with at work is strictly their decision. Do not discuss their diagnosis to anyone else unless you have permission.
If you are a cancer survivor and a coworker asks or comments on your diagnosis at work, we recommend using the Swivel, which is a way to direct the conversation back to work or another relevant topic. More on the Swivel can be found in our article, Recasting Yourself After Cancer.