How to Manage Privacy When Discussing a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
When someone is sick, most of the time they just want rest and care from loved ones. It's great to feel supported when you're not feeling well. This is very simple when it comes to having a cold, or something as common as a migraine. When the word cancer comes into the picture, everything automatically changes. In this situation more than ever, a person would need a tremendous amount of support. Most times, support is key to maintaining a positive outlook when dealing with such a prognosis as is cancer.
Any kind of cancer is terrible to come across in a person's life. However, a woman dealing with breast cancer will face certain issues that a person with another type of cancer may never have to deal with. Loved ones will be there to support their family member no matter what kind of cancer it is that that person has. It is sadly a very uncomfortable kind of cancer to speak about for some family members and friends. Society views a woman's breasts as a sexual part of the body and this makes it awkward for some people to talk about, even when it is their own loved one dealing with the diagnosis.
Instead of directly talking with the person who has the breast cancer about their prognosis, many people will prefer to ask others for information. This is mostly because they feel uncomfortable talking to a woman about her breasts. What they do not realize though is that in doing this their friend or family member who has breast cancer, will feel a sense of betrayal depending on the kind of relationship they shared with the person prior to the cancer. People put their relationships with others in jeopardy, simply because they feel uncomfortable talking about breasts.
People feel comfortable gossiping with others about what someone will do with their cancer stricken breasts, yet find it impossible to approach the right person and simply ask a question or offer some advice. Women dealing with breast cancer do not need this kind of stress added to their already high list of stresses dealing with the illness. They need to stand up for themselves and directly tell these people to stop gossiping about their breast cancer. That is one way to go about it. They can go up to whoever is gossiping and just tell them that they need to stop gossiping about their cancer as it is making them very uncomfortable to hear gossip about their breast cancer.
While it might seem rude to some people, this is a fast way to get a point across. Going up to whoever is gossiping and telling them to stop. They may act confused or may even get angry. The person with the cancer has to remember how they felt when hearing gossip about their illness. At this point whether they get angry or not might not matter. If they don't want to offend the person or people gossiping, they can take a softer approach. They can go up to the person and ask to speak in private. First, express how much this person means to them and explain that they don't mean to offend them. At this point the other person or people will have their guard down and most times will take anything said to them in a positive way. The person with the cancer should just explain how they don't appreciate hearing about their breast cancer being gossiped about. They should explain that if they have a question or concern to directly address them.
Another way to go about it is to hold a meeting, with co workers, friends, family members or whoever the people gossiping are. This can be some sort of social event with not only the people gossiping present. The person with breast cancer can do some sort of presentation or speech informing the people at the event about breast cancer. During the presentation, they should address the problem of the gossiping. Doing it in this way can help the person with the cancer avoid any kind of direct conflict with the people gossiping. They can make it a general speech, and just inform people of how it makes someone with breast cancer feel when others gossip about their condition. This is also a very good way to educate people who might not have much information about breast cancer. A lot of people just don't know what to say and this leads them to unknowingly act in such an immature manner.
A different way to go about it is for the person with the breast cancer to ask a family member or a friend to confront the people gossiping. Surely, a loved one would be glad to take this stress away from them. This might be a good solution for someone who doesn't like confrontation and would prefer not to talk to the people gossiping about the issue. The loved one can just say that they heard someone else gossiping about it and that it's not right to gossip about someone with cancer. Explain to the people gossiping how it makes someone with breast cancer feel to hear others talk behind their back about something so serious. They can also offer some information, maybe some websites or pamphlets about how to approach people with cancer.
A person with breast cancer will already have enough on their plate as it is, and something like gossip should not be one of their worries. Most people will understand if things are properly explained to them. However, the person with cancer is not responsible for someone else's feelings and should keep their own feelings as a priority. They must find a right balance in their lives to ensure that their health is put first. Sometimes to find this balance, they might have to cut some people out of their lives. This could be hard for some people, but it is necessary and unavoidable sometimes in life. Some people just don't deserve to be in other’s lives. If they are toxic people who do not bring anything positive to the table, then they there's no reason to keep them around.
Finding the right kind of support when dealing with such an illness is key to beating the disease. People with proper support will deal with issues they are faced with in a better way. Having people around to share their struggles with and to celebrate with when things are great, is more than helpful. If some people are not going to help in any way or don’t care enough, then they do not need to be in the person’s journey to recovery. Being direct might be necessary if someone with breast cancer needs to confront ill-mannered people. They need to express what they’re feeling and just be honest.
As mentioned above, some people act immaturely because they are not properly educated on certain topics. Maybe their parents didn’t teach them how to deal with these kinds of things. It could also be that they don’t know that they’re causing such stress to someone who is already under so much stress with breast cancer. Education is the key to most things in life and if someone isn’t educated they will remain ignorant to the possible harm that they’re causing. Some are also very shy and afraid to offend someone with breast cancer by talking to them directly. They might not know how to approach the person with the breast cancer. As mentioned earlier, society views breasts as sexual parts of a woman’s body and someone might find think that they are offending if they even mention a woman’s breasts. This may be more the case with men than it is with women, but it does happen. They might feel that the woman with the breast cancer would be embarrassed to think that someone is thinking about her breasts privately. This all goes back to not being properly educated.
Breasts are on every woman’s body and there should be no shame in openly talking about them when it comes to a person’s health. This is a problem in society and one that honestly needs to be addressed. There shouldn’t be so much that is taboo about a woman’s body. This is a topic that can be talked about forever as it is something that affects women with breast cancer in a such a negative way. A woman with breast cancer deserves care and positive attention. They need to feel comfortable in their own bodies to be able to make some very hard decisions some women with breast cancer are faced with. Ignoring gossip would be one easy solution but it would not be a real one. Simply ignoring something like that can prove very difficult to achieve. Dealing with this issue fast is what the person with the breast cancer should do. Getting that stress out of the way is important so that they can focus on their health. Once they get rid of this small stress, they will feel relieved that it is out of the way and they can focus on what’s truly important.