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Giving Emotional Support to Cancer Patients

A cancer diagnosis can have an overwhelming emotional impact not only on the individual facing the disease, but also on the person’s friends and family. Whether the affected person is your friend, child, sibling or parent, it may be challenging to find the right deeds and words to express your emotional support to them, particularly if it’s your first time to face such a situation.

When giving support to someone diagnosed with cancer, consider the following:

  • Be attentive and open-minded

Understand that the individual is experiencing different levels of emotions and thoughts. The person may have ups and downs as his or her physical and mental strength is pushed to new limits. Consequently, you may want to motivate the individual through affirmations and positive talk, but at times, you only need to listen. Allow the person to vent and express his or her feelings without judgment.

  • Learn more about the cancer type and treatment methods

After being diagnosed with cancer, your loved one will experience a ton of medical concerns. As such, it’s worth having a friend or family that can provide more information regarding the specific cancer type and the available treatment options. While it may be in your best interest to let the patient decision on his or her own, being knowledgeable about the person’s condition is useful in case the patient starts asking some questions.

  • Assist but don’t be overbearing

Naturally, you’ll keep feeling there’s more to do for someone with cancer. However, don’t forget that many cancer patients are always inundated with information related to cancer every day. Therefore, you should allow them to do those things they’re still able to do on their own. By giving them space to carry on with normal duties such as cooking, these patients will stop feeling that cancer is has completely taken over their entire lives. As a result, they’ll have peace of mind.

  • Remain connected even after treatment

Usually, lengthy stays at the hospital may leave cancer patients feeling cut off from most people in their lives. So, create some time to visit and encourage them. If your busy schedule or long distance won’t let you, organize regular phone calls.


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