11 doctors weighed in:
My 17 year old cousin has cancer and will probably die in the near future. What should I say to him?
11 doctors weighed in

Dr. Scott Bolhack
Wound care
5 doctors agree
In brief: Cancer
This is a very sad situation.
If you can spend time with him or call him frequently that would be best. Just let him know that you are there for him to talk or spend time with. Continue to create memories for both of you: a ball game, movie, computer game, concert, are just some examples. If he wants to discuss the diagnosis and prognosis with you, just try to listen and express your feelings too.

In brief: Cancer
This is a very sad situation.
If you can spend time with him or call him frequently that would be best. Just let him know that you are there for him to talk or spend time with. Continue to create memories for both of you: a ball game, movie, computer game, concert, are just some examples. If he wants to discuss the diagnosis and prognosis with you, just try to listen and express your feelings too.
Dr. Scott Bolhack
Dr. Scott Bolhack
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1 comment
Dr. David Wyatt
excellent advise Dr Bolhack..... agree completely..
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry
4 doctors agree
In brief: Allow your love to
be transparent. Anything that you would regret not saying after he has died - those things need to be said now.
Take care.

In brief: Allow your love to
be transparent. Anything that you would regret not saying after he has died - those things need to be said now.
Take care.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Dr. Heidi Fowler
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1 comment
Dr. Vikram Patel
Try to treat the cousin as a normal person while paying attention to his/her limitations. They deserve to live a normal life although it may be shorter..
Dr. James Ball
Pediatrics - Hematology & Oncology
2 doctors agree
In brief: Have conversation.
How horrible for both of you.
Sometimes no one knows how to start this conversation, not even your cousin. It is possible that this leads to your cousin feeling more isolated. It is ok to talk about how scary this must be. It is ok to talk about thoughts of dying. Definitely start this conversation. Do more listening than talking. Your cousin may grieve, which can appear angry. Good luck.

In brief: Have conversation.
How horrible for both of you.
Sometimes no one knows how to start this conversation, not even your cousin. It is possible that this leads to your cousin feeling more isolated. It is ok to talk about how scary this must be. It is ok to talk about thoughts of dying. Definitely start this conversation. Do more listening than talking. Your cousin may grieve, which can appear angry. Good luck.
Dr. James Ball
Dr. James Ball
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