How to Provide Effective Support for a Family Member with Cancer

When a family member is diagnosed with cancer, it’s incredibly sad and painful. However, as hard as it can be for everyone involved, you can provide effective long-term support to your loved one in many ways. This will make them feel better, stronger, and more prepared for the challenges ahead. 

What are the Most Common Types of Cancer in the UK? 

In the UK, around 375,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed annually. There are many different types of cancers that get diagnosed, with some of the most common ones being lymphoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and bowel cancer. 

Whichever type of cancer your family member has, there’s a strong chance they’ll make it through, as 3 out of every 4 people survive cancer the first year after being diagnosed (GOV.UK). Naturally, the earlier the cancer is detected, the better. This is because it drastically increases the odds of survival in most cases. 

Providing Support to Your Family Member with Cancer: Tips and Advice

Depending on what age you are, you might never have had a close family member or friend diagnosed with cancer before. Therefore, it’s completely normal if you feel a little lost or overwhelmed in regards to providing them with support. The good news is that (over time) you will both become stronger, and you’ll be able to keep providing them with some great support. Here are some tips and advice to help you on this journey. 

  1. Take Care of Daily Tasks That They Can’t Do 

It’s very common for people diagnosed with cancer to struggle doing the things they normally would. As a result, they need physical support — which is where you can come in and help. From grocery shopping to collecting prescriptions, there are all kinds of daily tasks you can take care of for them while they rest up at home. Not only will this help your family member, but it’ll also make you feel better. 

  1. Help Around the House 

If you live in the same house as your family member suffering from cancer, it’s super easy for you to help them around the house. You can cook for them, grab drinks (e.g., water and orange juice), and even perform basic procedures like checking their temperature. 

On the other hand, if you don’t live with your family member, don’t worry. Try to visit them as often as possible, such as during the evenings and weekends when you aren’t at work. It’ll brighten up their day whenever you come around and will also help to lift a weight from your other family members who live with them. 

  1. Listen to Their Thoughts and Feelings

Aside from physical support, cancer patients also need emotional support

Knowing this, it’s vital that you listen to their thoughts and feelings. Remember, conversation is important, as it allows people with cancer to vent and get any feelings they have off their chest. 

  1. Sign Them Up to a Cancer Support Group 

Lastly, you should ask your family members if they want to join a cancer support group. If they give you the thumbs up, you can help to sign them up. This will be great for them, as cancer support groups are amazing when it comes to emotional support and feeling less alone on your cancer journey.


Use the tips discussed above to provide your family member with the best possible support over the coming months. Good luck, and remember to stay as strong as you can for them. 

Author bio: 

This is a guest post by Dan C. Proud father to two children, Dan is passionate about alternative medicine, the great outdoors, and animal welfare.

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