Top 50 Things to NOT Say to A Cancer Patient

by Jane Ashley

Many of us are shocked at what both our friends and family and total strangers say to us when they learn that we have cancer. Most of these comments aren’t meant to hurt us, but some do hurt us, and others stress us. These seemingly callous and insensitive phrases are probably because most people don’t know what to say to us so they blurt out something that they’ve heard other people say.

Oh The C Word

Here are some phrases that made our Top 50 List of Things Not to Say to a cancer patient.

Oh, the “C” word.


It could have been worse.
We all die of something.
Cancer can be cured with positivity.
Chemo will kill you.
That’s a good kind of cancer to have.
But you’re okay now, right?

Dont Worry


Don’t worry.
You need to eat lots of raw fruits and veggies. Always organic too.
Cancer is really treatable now. It’s like the flu.
My dog has cancer too.
Are you throwing up all the time?
My aunt had cancer and died.
Radiation will kill you. Don’t do it.
You should like every day like it’s your last. 

Sugar Feeds Cancer


Sugar feeds cancer.
You have to stay positive.
You’ll put this all behind you.
How much time do you have?
Mark my words – cancer always comes back.
This is God’s way of testing your faith.
If there’s anything I can do … followed by the silent treatment.
You look really good – you’ve lost so much weight.
You ought to research, “Chris beat cancer.”
We could all be hit by a bus tomorrow.
There’s already a cure, but Big Pharma is suppressing it to keep making money.
At least, they caught it in time.

Have You Tried Juicing


Have you tried juicing?
Is this a bad cancer?
If you’ll just get up and do something, you’ll feel better.
Everything happens for a reason.
If anyone can beat this, you can.
Don’t listen to your doctor. I’m going to send you a book I heard about.
What is your prognosis?
You are so skinny – wish I could lose weight like you.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
Do you know what caused your cancer?
I know exactly how you feel.
You don’t look sick.

Good Luck


Good luck.
You’re such a badass – you’ll beat this!
I’d do chemo too if my hair would come back thick and curly.
You’ve just got to eat.
Did you ever smoke?
There’s always someone worse off than you.
Do you think that this chemo is going to do any good?
Maybe this will help you reevaluate what’s important in your life.
This is just one of life’s lessons.
I just know you’re gonna bounce right back.
At least, you’ve got free time now.

When in doubt of what to say to someone who has cancer, the simple words “I’m sorry” spoken with sincerity are the best words to say. Never underestimate the power of a hug either.

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