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What You Need to Know

Cancer doesn’t affect only the person with the illness. It affects their family members and friends as well. The Cancer Support Community is here not only to meet the needs of cancer patients and survivors, but also to help the family members and friends who are facing cancer alongside a loved one.

Some family members and friends are direct caregivers. Others might play a more supporting role, helping with meals or children’s carpools. Still other might be providing support from a distance. Regardless of the role you are playing, rest assured that it is having an important impact on your friend or family member facing cancer.

Have questions? Need assistance? Locate a Cancer Support Community Affiliate near you.

What to Expect: The Cancer Journey

As a family member or friend, you will be accompanying your loved one through their cancer journey. You may join the journey as the start. Or you may be jumping in midstream. These are some aspects of cancer you may encounter.

  1. The Cancer Diagnosis: Your family member and friend will be gathering information and making treatment decisions. Read more about being Newly Diagnosed with Cancer
  2. Treatment: Many people affected by cancer consider treatment done after the last scheduled chemotherapy or radiation appointment. However, sometimes people must then continue some form of ongoing treatment, such as hormonal therapy. Learn more about Cancer Treatments
  3. Moving Beyond Treatment: Life is different after cancer. Your friend or family member will need to find a “new normal.” Learn more about their experience Beyond Treatment
  4. Cancer Recurrence: Recurrence is a distressing event. This is a time when your friend or family member will need support, but it also is a time when communication can be difficult. Read more about Cancer Recurrence
  5. Advanced Disease: Cancer patients with metastatic disease must manage symptoms, tackle hard conversations and may struggle with their emotions. Family and friend can help by knowing what they are experiencing. Learn more about Advanced Disease