Nicole Eggert reveals what not to say to cancer patients amid breast cancer diagnosis

Nicole Eggert reveals what not to say to cancer patients amid breast cancer diagnosis

Nicole Eggert has opened up about the best things loved ones of cancer patients can do to comfort them.

The former Baywatch star explained in an interview with US Weekly that some of the most important phrases they should avoid are anything regarding their own experiences, like mentioning what reactions they started having from chemotherapy or radiation and when.

“I think a lot of times the wrong thing to say is to put your journey on somebody else’s journey,” the 52-year-old told the outlet.

“So people will say, ‘Oh, well, by this time my hair was falling out and by this time I became sick.’ And it’s just not the case. Every body is different.”

Eggert explained that when cancer patients are already filled with “worry” and “anticipation” over their own treatment plan and timeline, it’s not the time to hear about someone else’s.

“To say to somebody by the fourth week, ‘You’re going to feel terrible,’ or ‘By the second week this is going to happen to you,’ it’s just not true. So you shouldn’t put those things,” Eggert shared. “You really should just listen. I think it’s a lot in life in general, right? Listening is better. Listening and saying, ‘Good for you.’ Giving affirmations and listening is probably the best bet.”

The actress was first diagnosed with stage 2 cribriform carcinoma breast cancer back in December 2023. The actress revealed in February 2024 that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.

“I started feeling a bit of a throbbing, [that’s] how I describe it. It sort of [happens] sometimes for me, and I think this happens to some women during my cycle – sometimes my lymph nodes will throb or your ovaries throb a little bit,” she recalled.

“It felt like that, but a little bit more intense and it lasted the day. And so I did a self-exam and I could feel a mass. I could feel a lump clearly, and it was devastating because it was right there and I could have felt it sooner and I didn’t, but my body let me know it was there. It definitely had to listen to the signs.”

Eggert admitted that prior to her diagnosis she never performed self-examinations to check her breasts for any abnormalities and only went off doctor visits, mammograms, and ultrasounds. She added that doctors can sometimes miss things and people should still pay attention to their bodies.

“I’ll start by saying that a large percentage of women and men have dense breast tissue, and many times things can be missed by mammogram and ultrasound, which was in my case,” she said. “So I highly encourage people to do self-exams. That’s just off the bat. You should do regular self-exams, get familiar with what they feel like and when something is different.”

Although Eggert does have a family history of cancer – her father having had skin cancer and her mother suffering from colon cancer – she explained to People when she was first diagnosed that her “biggest fear” with this diagnosis is not being around for her two daughters, 12-year-old Keegan and 25-year-old Dilyn.

“[Dilyn’s] an adult, but I have a 12-year-old at home where I’m the only caregiver. I have no family. I have nothing,” she said, pointing out “the horror” on Keegan’s face when telling her about the diagnosis. “It immediately made me realise, there’s just no succumbing to this. This is something I have to get through. This is something that I have to beat. She needs me more than anything and anybody.”