How to Support a Loved One Through Cancer: 5 Practical Tips

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Supporting a loved one through cancer is a complicated task. Knowing how best to help is hard and where to begin is hard. But it is possible to provide meaningful support and make a positive difference in your loved one’s life. Here, we’ve compiled 10 practical tips for how to support a loved one through cancer. From offering practical assistance to providing emotional support, there are many ways to make a difference. These tips can help you ensure your loved one knows they are not alone. Whether you’re providing a shoulder to lean on or running errands, your support can make a world of difference. So, take a look at these 10 practical tips for supporting a loved one through cancer, and get started on your journey today.

Offer practical assistance

If your loved one is newly diagnosed with cancer, they may not be able to do certain things they used to be able to do. This could be because their health or lifestyle has changed due to their diagnosis. As such, there may be many small tasks you can help with. You could help with errands and household tasks. You could also offer to help with childcare. If your loved one has chemotherapy or another treatment that affects their energy levels, you can help with transportation. This can make a big difference and take a lot of stress off your loved one. Additionally, if your loved one is dealing with financial difficulties, you can help with financial tasks, such as applying for state aid. This can help take pressure off them while they get back on their feet.

Be an active listener.

As your loved one goes through cancer, they may feel many different emotions. They may feel stressed, scared, or even angry. They may have days when they are just not up to doing much. Be there as an active listener. Someone who will just sit and listen. They may need to get things out and talk about their feelings. Or perhaps they want a friend to be there for them without any expectations. Whatever the case, being an active listener can go a long way in providing emotional support.

Provide emotional support

You may also want to provide additional emotional support as an active listener. You can do this by letting your loved one know that they are not alone. Let them know that you are there for them and that you care. Let them know that you understand that this is a difficult journey that not many people go through. And that you are there to support them through this journey.

Research options, treatments, and support groups

If your loved one is newly diagnosed or amid treatment, they may not know what is available to them. This may come from support groups such as or types of therapy. It may also come in the form of alternative treatments that help reduce side effects. As such, it would be beneficial to research these options. This will help your loved one know what is available to them. 

Respect your loved one’s decisions

As you go through the cancer journey with your loved one, you will likely come across many decisions that need to be made. This may include treatment decisions as well as life decisions. Your loved one may make a decision you don’t necessarily agree with. Or, you may want them to make a different decision. In these moments, you must respect your loved one’s decisions. After all, you don’t know what their journey is like. You don’t know what they are going through. You don’t know what their decision is based on. Therefore, you must respect your loved one’s decisions, even when disagreeing.


As you can see, there are many ways to support a loved one through cancer. These tips can help you support them through their treatment.