When to talk about experience in new relationship?

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Question from SKG: At what point in a dating relationship should a breast cancer survivor reveal her health history? We don't want to scare them away too soon, yet it's hurtful to get involved and then have them run away when they find out.
Answers - Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. It strikes me that this is a particularly important question. We had a conference last month about Coping with Your Changing Feelings and Relationships and this question came up then. I refer you to that transcript for a more detailed discussion. Our guest last month, Dr. Lydia Schapira, discussed that often when a person feels comfortable in a relationship, and/or when they feel it no longer feels right NOT to be discussing it, that is usually a good time to initiate the conversation. It can also be helpful to think about at what point in a relationship you would want your partner to disclose information to you. It is certainly important to have a support system with whom to discuss these issues.
Lynn Schuchter It is a very good question, and there is no one right answer about how or when to do this. I would agree with Dr. Armstrong's answer in that Dr. Schapira is really outstanding in this field. Look at the transcript closely, because she has wonderful insight into this area, and she really has quite a bit of wisdom that is useful for all of us.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Young Women and Breast Cancer feautred Lynn Schuchter, M.D. and moderator Jennifer Armstrong, M.D. answering your questions about the special concerns of young women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in April 2006.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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