(HealthDay News) -- When a dear friend or family member has been diagnosed with cancer, you'll want to offer your love, support and sympathy.
Though it may be very difficult, the American Cancer Society says you should be supportive, honest and a good listener.
The Society offers these suggestions:
- Be honest. Concede that you don't quite know what to say, but let your loved one know how much you care and that he or she is in your thoughts.
- It's alright to express sympathy about the diagnosis.
- Ask how he or she is holding up and handling everything.
- Lend an ear, and offer to be a willing listener when your loved one needs to talk.
- Offer to help in any way that's needed.
- Respect the way the person has decided to treat his or her cancer, even if you don't agree.
- Avoid giving too much advice or judging every aspect of the situation.