This website is intended for an international audience, excluding the UK, United States, Canada and France
This website is intended for an international audience, excluding the UK, United States, Canada and France

Talking to a healthcare professional

Talking to your doctor or other members of your NET team can be a daunting at times, but don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need. They are they to help you through your journey with NETs and provide you with the best care. They will not mind if you ask the same question again or need to have information repeated to help you understand.

Below are some tips that might help you get the most out of consultations with your NET team. See also the questions to ask your doctor page of this website.

10 tips to help you talk to your doctor

Telling friends and family

It is up to you to decide when to talk to your friends and family about your diagnosis. Sharing your hopes, fears and medical updates with people can bring you closer and ease your burden.

First, think about how much you want to share. You may want to briefly explain what type of NETs you have, which treatments you might need, and what your long-term outlook or your prognosis is.

People usually tell their spouse or partner first, then a few other family and close friends. It is also important to tell your children so they can understand.

As you talk with others, you may want to write down questions that come up so that you can discuss them with your doctor or your multidisciplinary NET team.

You may not feel comfortable or want to explain your condition to everyone. You could consider telling one or two close friends, either face-to-face, or over the telephone, who could then help you explain your condition to your wider circle of friends and family.

As we live in a modern age, and if you want to share your thoughts with a group of close family or friends who may not live near to you, you could try keeping in touch with them through social media by creating a private Facebook group or by using a chat app on your smart phone such as WhatsApp, or even a monthly email, letter or phone call to let them know how you are doing.

Tips for telling others

  • Know the key points you want to share
  • Break the news when you feel ready
  • Be prepared for questions, but don’t feel like you have to answer all of them
  • Draw boundaries. You don’t have to share every detail about your diagnosis with everyone
  • Ask a close friend or relative to help explain your condition to other people

Help your friends adjust

Your friends may also be looking for a comfortable way of talking to you about your diagnosis and living long term with your cancer. They may want direction on how to behave with you. Let them know how they can help you. This gives them a chance to understand your feelings and find out more about your needs.

Tell them about this website if they would like to learn more about NETs, for example, or direct them to other information they can read if they are interested.

When others can’t handle your diagnosis

Some people may not be able to cope or relate to what you’re saying about your NETs diagnosis. They may be uncomfortable about discussing your condition, and they may choose to avoid you so they don’t have to do this.

Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by such reactions – not everyone is comfortable talking openly about cancer. Some are unable to listen because of their own experiences or their own emotions, not yours.

Don’t let this become your problem. In some cases, they may not the best ones to talk to at that point. So look for other friends and family who can handle your news better.

Sometimes, those people who did not want to hear about your diagnosis at first might feel ready to discuss this at a later date. So try to be open about talking about your NETs when they’re ready.

Talking to children

Talking in an open, sensitive manner about your condition to your children or grandchildren can be beneficial. Many young children can sense when there is a problem in the family. If they sense that something is not right but cannot grasp why, they may start imagining the worst.

So have an honest conversation with children and teenagers using language they can understand. With very young children, you may want to use dolls or pictures to do this. Let them know what any changes in your health could mean for them in their everyday life. Their reactions and needs will vary depending on their age.

Sonia, Living with NETs

“It was very hard for me to speak to my children, to say, ‘I have cancer’, because I didn’t know a lot about this type of cancer.”

View Sonia’s story >


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This website is intended for an international audience, excluding the UK, United States, Canada and France. This website has been developed by Ipsen in collaboration with those living with NETs and the healthcare professionals who care for them. Ipsen would like to thank everyone for their valuable insights and stories. All names used on this website are not necessarily real names. Visit for more information about us. Website design and development by Kanga Health Ltd. ALL-ALL-002300/November 2020