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  • Writer's pictureCristine Enriquez

March 1-31 Brain Tumour Awareness Month 2023

This was started by Brain Tumour Research with the aim of raising awareness and sharing powerful statistics to raise awareness of brain tumours and the need for greater research funding.

Finding out that someone you love, a family member, a friend or someone you know has cancer can be difficult and this can be a frightening and stressful time for you everyone. If you are not comfortable talking about cancer, you might not be the best person to talk with at this time. You may need some time to work through your own feelings.

When talking with someone who has cancer, the most important thing is to listen. Try to hear and understand how they feel. Don’t make light of, judge, or try to change the way the person feels or acts. Let them know that you’re open to talking whenever they feel like it. Or, if they don’t feel like talking right at that time, that’s OK, too. You can offer to listen whenever they’re ready.

There may be times when the uncertainty and fear make the person with cancer seem angry, depressed, or withdrawn. This is normal and is a part of the process of grieving what was lost to the cancer (things like health, energy, time). Someone with cancer might feel guilty that they’ve done something to cause their cancer. Some people are made to feel guilty by others who might ask them if they did things in the past that might have caused their cancer. This is called stigma and can sometimes make a person with cancer blame themselves for their illness or feel left out, isolated, depressed, and as if they don’t have much support. It can even affect how they approach their treatment, affect their quality of life, and might make them avoid follow-up care. If someone feels stigmatized for their cancer diagnosis, be reassuring and show you care. Help them know that they can’t change what might have happened in the past, but they can take charge of their life and care while going through treatment and beyond.

Over time, most people are able to adjust to the new reality in their lives and go forward. Some may need extra help from a support group or a mental health professional to learn to deal with the changes cancer has brought into their lives to feel less afraid, less alone and be more in control.

Brain Tumour Awareness’ biggest campaign. Wear A Hat Day returns on Friday 31st March 2023

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