While there may never be the perfect time to disclose, the best time to do so is when the patient feels ready.Before deciding, patients may want to consider how they would like the conversation to go.Intimacy and Sexuality Talking about intimacy or sexuality in a relationship, though at times uncomfortable, is very important.
Help patients address these insecurities head-on by maintaining open communication and encouraging them to do the same.
It can also be extremely helpful for patients to speak with a professional oncology social worker, such as the ones at Cancer Care who provide free services to help patients and their loved ones navigate the challenges that arise along with a cancer diagnosis.
Whether in a new or long-standing relationship, encourage patients to be open to these differences.
Get Support Remind patients that having a strong network of support is crucial.
Some patients may benefit from preparing — writing down what they would like to say or even practicing with a friend can help relieve some of their anxiety.
Before sharing, encourage patients to consider what would make them feel most comfortable. Doing so can help build trust and is the foundation of a lasting relationship.Attending a support group that offers them the opportunity to share their experiences with others in a similar situation can offer validation that they are not alone.Some patients may have different reactions, views, and experiences with dating after a cancer diagnosis, but communication and understanding are important starting points in ensuring patients receive the support they need.Cancer Care provides free counseling with licensed oncology social workers who can help connect patients to other resources in their community.Individual counseling allows patients the opportunity to address all the complexities and challenges that dating poses following a cancer diagnosis.Doing so can help build confidence and self-esteem.