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How to Support Someone During Their Cancer Journey

It can be a challenging time for everyone involved, but with the right care and support, you can help your loved one get through this difficult time. Here are some tips to help you provide the support they need.

Understanding Cancer

What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells in the body grow and divide uncontrollably. There are many different types of cancer that can affect different parts of the body.

The cancer journey

Understanding the stages of cancer treatment and what your loved one may be going through can help you provide the right kind of care and support when they need it the most.

Cancer awareness

Raising awareness about cancer can help reduce stigma and increase access to resources. Learn how you can get involved in cancer awareness campaigns and support organizations.

Listening and Communication

Be present

When someone is going through cancer treatment, it's important to be there for them. Listen actively and let them know you're there to support them however they need.

Use open-ended questions

Try to avoid yes-or-no questions. Instead, ask open-ended questions that allow the person to express themselves more fully.

Give reassurance

Cancer treatment can be frightening and emotionally draining. Provide reassurance and let your loved one know that you're there for them throughout their journey.

Be respectful

Cancer affects everyone differently and it's important to respect the person's wishes and privacy even if you don't understand their choices.

Providing Practical Support


  • Drive them to appointments
  • Help with grocery shopping
  • Assist with errands

Household Chores

  • Cooking meals
  • Cleaning the house
  • Doing laundry

Financial Assistance

  • Help with medical bills
  • Assist with insurance paperwork
  • Research other ways to reduce costs

Emotional Support and Self-Care

Join a support group

Joining a cancer support group can provide a safe and supportive environment for both the patient and their family members to share their experiences and find emotional support.

Practice self-care

Encourage your loved one to practice self-care activities that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, such as meditation, massage or gentle yoga.

Family bonding

Plan family days out, visit to your loved one's favourite places, or simply watch a movie together. Carving out time together and shared experiences can help both the patient and family members connect and feel less isolated.

Supporting the Caregiver

Offer help

It can be exhausting to be the primary caregiver for someone going through cancer treatment. Offer to help with errands, meals or any other tasks that the caregiver may find daunting or challenging.

Listen actively

Caregivers need emotional support too. Listen to their concerns and fears, and encourage them to seek out professional help if needed.

Encourage self-care

Encourage the caregiver to prioritize their own physical and mental well-being by practicing self-care activities like exercise, meditation, or taking time off to rest and recharge.


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