Learning that a friend or family member has cancer is shocking news that may leave you unsure of what to say or how to help. In this difficult situation, you might be wondering whether to give your loved one space or if it’s appropriate to ask questions. While everyone’s needs are different, the tips below will help you lend the support your friend or family member needs.

3 Tips for Supporting a Loved One With Cancer

1. Ask Before Visiting

Whether they’re at home or in the hospital, ask if they’d like some company before coming for a visit. Cancer treatment can be physically exhausting, so they may not feel up for entertainment at the time. Always make it clear that they’re free to say no, and be understanding if they decide to cancel plans at the last minute.

2. Set Up a Communication Network

cancerFor many people with serious medical conditions, giving the same information to different people over and over again can be tiring and frustrating. Setting up a communication network with friends and extended family will help everyone stay informed without overwhelming your loved one.

For example, set up a video call with close family members and friends so your loved one can update you all at the same time. This eliminates confusion and shows your loved one that they have a strong support system.

3. Volunteer to Complete Daily Tasks

After a cancer diagnosis, your loved one may be feeling overwhelmed by daily life, or simply exhausted by medical treatments. Volunteering to cook, handle babysitting duties, or run errands will take some pressure off your friend or family member and allow them to focus on themselves.

Prepare several meals for them—simple recipes they can pop in the oven or microwave—to eliminate cooking, which could be tiring for them. Clean their home once a week, and stop by to help out with laundry. Picking up any activities around the home will help your loved one preserve their energy and stay on the path to recovery.


The compassionate, caring staff at Integrative Medicine of New York, PLLC is dedicated to providing state-of-the-art treatment to cancer patients throughout Long Island, NY. With their focus on immunology and alternative treatments, they ensure that all their patients feel comfortable and confident during their cancer treatments. To learn more about their services, visit their website. To make an appointment, call (516) 759-4200.