Family and Friends
Support for Family, Friends, and Caregivers
Cancer doesn’t affect only the person with the illness. It affects their family members and friends as well. Some family members and friends are direct caregivers. Others might play a more supporting role, helping with meals or children’s carpools. Still others 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.
The Cancer Support Community is here to meet the needs of cancer patients and survivors, and we are also here to help family members and friends who are facing cancer alongside a loved one.
Reach Out for Support
We offer free navigation for cancer patients or their loved ones.
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 at the start. Or you may be jumping in midstream. These are some aspects of cancer you may encounter.
The Cancer Diagnosis
After receiving a cancer diagnosis, your friend or family member will be gathering information and making treatment decisions. Navigating the healthcare system — the tests, doctor’s appointments, figuring out insurance, and more — can feel overwhelming. We provide resources, tips, and guides that can help them gain a sense of control as they face decisions about their treatment and care.
Cancer is treated in a multidisciplinary way, meaning several different types of healthcare professionals will be managing your friend or family member's care. Their active participation in the choices they make with their healthcare team can make a big difference in their cancer experience and quality of life.
Moving Beyond Treatment
Life is different after cancer. Your friend or family member will need to find a “new normal.” Their health after treatment may be different than it was before they started treatment. Find tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle, manage long-term health concerns, and create a new normal.
Build Your Online Community
Our free digital support community easily connects caregivers and their loved ones with friends and family to reduce stress, anxiety, and isolation.
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. While it's normal to worry about cancer coming back, that doesn't mean your friend or family member has to be burdened by it. There are many ways they can manage this distress.
Cancer patients with metastatic disease must manage symptoms and tackle hard conversations, and they may struggle with their emotions. Family and friends can help by understanding the common emotions associated with metastatic cancer and stress management techniques that can help them cope.
The ripples of a cancer diagnosis extend to spouses, partners, siblings, children, and friends. Many of these family members will find they now need to take on the role of caregiver — something they have never done before. Becoming a caregiver may seem scary or overwhelming at first. Know that you are not alone. There are programs and services that can help you as you care for your loved one.
Need Help Coping?
It's normal to experience new emotions, life changes, and health concerns after a cancer diagnosis, from loneliness to fatigue to worries about the future.
Voices of Survivors and CaregiversAll Radio Shows
Do You Have a Loved One With Cancer?
What has helped you cope? In just a few steps, you can share your story now and help other caregivers feel less alone.
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