Emotional support for cancer patients

05 Aug, 2020

Emotional support

Going through cancer is often described as an emotional roller coaster, with many ups and downs. You may see your loved one go through a wide range of emotions. While this can be difficult for both of you, your willingness to listen and offer support will make a difference. Here are things you can do, however, to help both of you cope:

Listen to your loved one


It is important to listen without judging or “cheerleading.” Simply listening to those feelings can be one of the most important contributions you make. While you may be in a position to share decision making, ultimately it is the other person’s body and spirit that bear the impact of the cancer.

Get information about support groups


Joining a support group gives your loved one a chance to talk with others coping with cancer and learn what they do to manage difficult emotions. It is okay to ask loved ones for guidance as to how they want to be helped. Don’t make assumptions about their wants and needs. This allows your loved one to be involved in their care.

If it’s needed, continue your support when treatment is over


Despite being relieved that the cancer is in remission (stopped growing or disappeared), a person may feel scared that it will return. If you think your loved one may need additional support coping with his or her emotions during this time, suggest speaking with a professional such as an oncology social worker.