3 Ways You Can Help a Loved One Through Cancer Here

Watching a friend or family member deal with cancer can be quite difficult. It can leave you feeling a little powerless, wanting to do something to help but wondering what would truly benefit your loved one.

Fortunately, there are many ways to help your family member or friend through the challenging journey — and you don’t have to be a research scientist or top doctor.

1. Learn About the Condition

Although you may be familiar with cancer as a disease, you can learn more about the specific kind your loved one has. Cancer can affect a multitude of body organs, and it has various types and stages. These varieties affect treatment plans such as surgery, medication, radiation, chemotherapy or experimental treatments.

Some forms and stages of cancer are more serious than others. No matter what your loved one’s situation is, a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. It is critical to listen to his or her troubles with empathy and compassion. Learning more about the condition is an excellent way to demonstrate your concern. It can also arm you with helpful information.

As you do your research, be aware of using credible sources. Health misinformation is, unfortunately, easy to find. According to the National Cancer Institute, you should ask some questions:

  • Where is the information’s primary source?

  • Who reviews the data before posting?

  • Who manages the website?

  • How up-to-date is the data?

2. Assist With Stress Management

Lifestyle changes, doctor appointments, treatment side effects and worry about the future can stress a cancer patient. You can help your loved one manage it.

Encourage the patient to exercise at a reasonable level. According to experts, exercise increases blood flow throughout the body, delivering oxygen and nutrients to vital organs. It also increases stress-reducing hormones. Try walking or attending an exercise class with your loved one.

Many support groups exist for cancer patients. They allow people to talk about their symptoms and emotions with others experiencing similar things. You can find lots of groups and forums online, and you may also find in-person meetings. Help your loved one research different groups. You can also offer computer technical support or a ride to an in-person meeting.

3. Help With Living Modifications

If your loved one expects to lose some independence during the disease course, some home modifications may be necessary. You can help with the process.

A stress-free home office can be the perfect setting if the patient works from home. One way to increase comfort is to include ergonomic accessories, such as:

  • A sit/stand desk that adjusts to the worker’s preferences

  • Ergonomic seating to help the worker avoid a stiff neck, back and arms

  • A keyboard tray that adapts to the proper height

  • A monitor stand to keep the computer screen at eye level

A scheduling system can help track work tasks, appointments and personal obligations. Having an organized schedule goes a long way toward relieving daily anxiety.

Your loved one may need assisted living or 24-hour care at some point. If those options are on the horizon, you can help study local communities to find the best choice for the patient’s budget and medical requirements.

You don’t need to be a world-renowned cancer expert to help your loved one on the health journey. An open mind and compassionate heart are all that is required. Talk to the patient about his or her needs and wants to create the best care plan.

About the Author

Phillip used to be the guy who would put off doctor’s appointments, but after a routine checkup revealed he had hyperthyroidism, he makes yearly visits a priority. He created Your Yearly Checkup to not only share his experience, but provide you with useful and informative health articles as well.