The Pros and Cons of Keeping your Cancer Diagnosis a Secret

The decision to keep a cancer diagnosis secret is not uncommon because many patients don’t want cancer to define them as someone different from before.

Norm MacDonald may not have been a household name to some. Still, since leaving Saturday Night Live in 2009, he was among the busiest performers on television. MacDonald had his own show on Netflix, performed in stand-up comedy shows, was a regular on multiple TV series in person, and was a voice actor. 

Then he died of cancer on Sept. 14, 2021.

MacDonald was waging a secret battle with cancer during all those years of public performances and TV appearances. His death was a shock to his many fans and some family members and friends, who had no clue he had been diagnosed. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect how the audience or any of his loved ones saw him,” his co-producer and friend, Lori Jo Hoekstra, said upon his passing. “Norm will be missed terribly.”

Read more to explore several advantages and disadvantages of keeping your cancer diagnosis a secret from experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

About Cancer Treatment Centers of America®
Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) is a national network of five hospitals that serves adult patients who are fighting cancer. CTCA® offers an integrative approach to care that combines advancements in genomic testing and precision cancer treatment, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy and chemotherapy, with evidence-informed supportive therapies designed to help patients physically and emotionally by enhancing their quality of life while managing side effects both during and after treatment.

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