How do I tell my family and friends I have ovarian cancer?

Telling your family and friends that you have ovarian cancer can be difficult and you may feel worried about how they will react.

There’s no right or wrong way to let your family and friends know, but following these tips might help:

  • Quiet location – a comfortable, quiet and private place will help you to focus on what you’re saying
  • You don’t have to do it alone – you may find it easier to have someone with you while you tell other people, or you may prefer someone else to tell your friends and family for you
  • Little by little – introducing the subject gradually will give people time to prepare for what they’re about to hear. Telling people suddenly can sometimes cause more distress
  • Keep it brief – talking about key facts will help your friends and family process what they’re hearing

Everyone is different so their responses will vary. Some people will respond by denying what you’re saying. Some will feel angry. Others may cry and feel distressed. Some may need time alone before they’re ready to talk to you about what they've heard.

Allowing your friends and family space to talk about how they’re feeling and ask you questions will help them to process what’s happening.