Talking About Cancer Prevention - Lets Fuck Cancer

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A guide to

Talking About Cancer Prevention

Sometimes our loved ones don’t make the healthiest decisions when it comes to preventing cancer, which in turn, can affect us. It can be hard to know how to talk to them in a productive way that will lead to a positive outcome. We’re here to help you help them.

TALKING TO YOUR PARENT

Your parents don’t always act exactly how you wish they would, and eventually you might realize they’re not as perfect as you always imagined. That’s part of life, baby. Maybe your parent is a lifelong smoker or doesn’t regularly wear sunscreen, but you can help them think harder about their cancer risk due to these behaviors. Maybe you’ll even convince them you’re right.

DO

  • Stay cool, calm, and collected
  • Avoid using an accusatory tone. Your parent might be addicted to a cancer causing substance like tobacco, or they may not have ever been taught cancer prevention behavior like using sunscreen. We’re not in the shame game here!
  • Come prepared. Have a few stats ready to support your arguments.
  • If you feel nervous, try practicing having the talk with a sibling or friend first.
  • Depending on your family, there could be power in numbers if a sibling or aunt/uncle talks to your parents too.
  • Have more than one conversation. Behavior takes effort to change and you should support your parent through the process.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • “I love you and want you to stick around as long as possible. That means preventing cancer as much as possible.”
  • “Did you know there are small changes you could make to live longer?”
  • “I promise to take care of you when you’re old, but let’s try to push that off as long as possible.”

TALKING TO YOUR PARTNER OR SPOUSE

You love your boo. They may not be playing games with your heart, but they do need to quit playing games with their health. Here’s how to talk to them about cancer prevention.

DO

  • Avoid using an accusatory tone.
  • Be patient. Behaviors are engrained, so changing them will take time and hard work
  • Explain how much your partner means to you and how that connects to cancer prevention. You’re with them through sickness and health, but ideally more of the health and less of the sickness part.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • “We need to talk….about preventing cancer.”
  • “It’s not you, it’s me. Or at least, it’s me who wants you to prevent cancer.”
  • “Through sickness or health, right babe? Let’s focus more on the health part this year.”
  • “Couple goals: preventing cancer so we can be together forever.”

TALKING TO YOUR SIBLING

Maybe you love them, maybe you hate them. Either way you want them to stay healthy and prevent cancer.

DO

  • You know your relationship best, so use humor, fear, love, or whatever makes the most sense for you. Avoid using an accusatory tone though because that will just lead to defensiveness.
  • Remind them how much they mean to you.
  • Explain why cancer prevention is important to you.
  • Come prepared with facts and your reasons why certain behaviors are or are not healthy.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • “You’ve been my best friend since birth, so I really need you to stick around till death.”
  • “Imagine how mad our parents would be if they knew you did this. Well, I’m kind of mad about it too.”
  • “Remember when we got the HPV vaccine as kids? We should probably do other cancer prevention things too.”

TALKING TO YOUR FRIEND

No matter how much you love them, sometimes your friends make dumb decisions.

DO

  • You know your relationship best, so use humor, fear, love, or whatever makes the most sense for you. Avoid using an accusatory tone though because that will just lead to defensiveness.
  • Remind them how much they mean to you.
  • Explain why cancer prevention is important to you.
  • Come prepared with facts and your reasons why certain behaviors are or are not healthy.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • “Did you ever get the HPV vaccine as a kid? I did and now I’m thinking about other cancer prevention behaviors I should be adopting.”
  • “You’re my best friend and I’ll kill you if you die. I’d rather not be a murderer though, so can you please just stop smoking and wear sunscreen please.”
  • “Want to make a bet? Whoever wears sunscreen more days in a row gets $10 from the other person.”

TALKING TO YOUR KIDS

It’s important to instill cancer prevention behaviors in your kid when they’re young by having open and honest conversations. When they’re older, though, it can be harder to have a levelheaded conversation about their behavior choices. We’re here to help you figure out the best ways to talk to your kids about cancer prevention, hopefully with only a few “fuck’s” thrown in there (Fuck Cancer that is!).

DO

  • Be honest. Kids know what’s up and can tell when you’re bullshitting them. Tell them exactly why it’s important to you that they prevent cancer.
  • Stay calm and lead with love. The parent/kid dynamic is hard enough as is, there’s no need to complicate it further
  • Be creative. Cancer may feel far off and inconsequential to your kid. So try reframing the prevention activity in a way they’ll care about. Whether they wear sunscreen to prevent wrinkles or prevent moles, it’s still protecting them against cancer. Same thing with getting the HPV vaccine to avoid genital warts…a really scary outcome for a teenager, but they’re also protecting themselves against six types of cancer. It’s a win win.
  • Come prepared. Have a few stats ready to support your arguments.
  • Have more than one conversation. Behavior takes time and effort to change.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • “I promise I’m not trying to be a nag about cancer prevention, I just want you to live a long and healthy life.”
  • “Life is hard enough without having to deal with cancer too.”
  • “I love that you don’t smoke cigarettes because you know they’re bad for you. Are there other things you do for that reason?”

ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF

It’s also important to know how to advocate for your own health. Feeling comfortable and confident in these conversations will inspire others to do the same with their health. One important way you can advocate for yourself and cancer prevention is by getting the HPV vaccine. Talking to the people in your life about the HPV vaccine can feel tricky, but we’ve got some tips for you.

DO

  • Think about your reasons for choosing cancer preventative behaviors.
  • Come prepared with facts about how certain behaviors can help prevent cancer.
  • Practice makes perfect. Practice what you want to say in front of a mirror or with a loved one.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  • TALKING TO YOUR PARENT – “You know how you tell me not to smoke because it’s bad for me and can cause cancer? There’s something else I can do to prevent cancer too. It’s called the HPV vaccine and I think I want to get it. Can we make a doctor’s appointment for me?”
  • TALKING TO YOUR DOCTOR – “I’ve heard about the HPV vaccine and that it can prevent cancer. I think I’d like to get it. Can you tell me more?”
  • TALKING TO YOUR PEER – “I’m trying to prevent cancer by not smoking, getting the HPV vaccine, and living a healthy life because cancer fucking sucks. My grandma had cancer so I know. Do you want to prevent cancer too?”

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