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How can I help people with cancer?

117 Answers
Last Updated: 07/17/2018 at 2:15pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Amy Green, MA; LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I am a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist in the state of California and Oregon. I've been in private practice for 10 years and have been in the counseling field for 15 years.

Top Rated Answers
October 29th, 2015 6:10am
If it's someone you know personally just being supportive and helping if they need it. More generally you can volunteer with hospitals, the American Cancer Society, or hospice.
October 29th, 2015 2:49pm
You know, one way is to just be there for them. Having cancer isn't easy and a lot of people give up before they even had a chance to fight. Here's my advise: Stay with them through the journey, no matter where it goes and help them stay strong. Give them constant encouragement and laughs. Laughter can heal.
October 29th, 2015 8:16pm
People with cancer can very in attitudes, caused by health or surrounding environment and even the type of cancer. There are many suggestions for aiding people with cancer. Natural/ Raw diets have been found to be one of the most effective methods to aid the defeating of cancer. Ultimately being "there" for them is the best thing you can do.
October 31st, 2015 12:46am
Listen to them, write short summaries of their thoughts. Understand their fear and other negative feelings.
October 31st, 2015 11:11am
Be there for them, don't abandon them. Like me, I'm always there for my friend :) I support his dream, I told him that I loved him and that he could make his dream into reality. In a nutshell, the best thing we can do to people with cancer is showing our love, showing that we care
October 31st, 2015 7:26pm
Help them with anything and everything that they have to deal with on a daily basis or just be there to be a friend
November 1st, 2015 11:22pm
I can't help with the suffering. But if i can bring a smile to their lips, by listening to what makes them happy, their day might be a tiny it brighter today.
November 3rd, 2015 6:15pm
Cancer is a hard thing to come by but, one thing that can really help is just being there for them. They like to be treated like normal people and not like they are sick. So try to be there for them in the best way possible. Just go with them to hold there hand or make them laugh or just be there for them in general. Supporting them is the best thing anyone can do.
November 4th, 2015 3:45pm
Volunteer at the cancer unit at your local hospital. This will give you an opportunity to support people with certain cancers. Your smile can go a long way. Best wishes. - Nate
November 4th, 2015 3:45pm
My great grandmother passed away from bone cancer 12 years ago, now. I helped her by being there as often as I could, and whenever she wanted me there.
November 4th, 2015 3:46pm
Talk to them about their expericance and make sure that they do not feel alone. I want them to know that i am here for them and that they are safe to talk about yheir feelings,fears, and all other things if they are comfortable.
November 5th, 2015 8:52am
People with cancer just need words of encouragement and someone to listen and understand. So just do all those things and you will already be helping them.
November 6th, 2015 1:45am
By being there for them. Give some encouragement and empathy and lots of care, this will make them feel wanted and loved and give them a reason to fight it back.
November 6th, 2015 10:34am
You can help by being there and supporting them. It is hard when someone suffers with a disease as devastating as that. Most people who have cancer will understand that you cant always empathise with them, but you can always be there to help when they need it :)
November 6th, 2015 6:41pm
You can help them by being there for them (in case is someone close or someone you can get close to) or you can help them by helping with funds they are getting in order to get their treatments to get better
November 8th, 2015 5:23am
you can't, doctors only can. but , you can help donate money.. or.. give gifts to the children on christmas.
November 11th, 2015 11:10am
life is not over yet , you may have cancer still you can live your life with grace , happiness , and spend your time with your family and friends
November 13th, 2015 5:12am
I have found that people with cancer find it easier to talk to you when you tell them that you know what they are going through based on the experience of a close friend or family member. The people who deal with cancer are strong and take solace in the strong community they have.
November 15th, 2015 2:38am
I have only known one person with cancer and she is a very close friend of mine that I have known for almost 20 years now. The best way I feel that I can help her is by being a good friend to her and listening if she needs a supportive, loving ear.
November 15th, 2015 6:34am
Support them. Support them just as you would someone going through any other tough time, because that's what it is- A very tough time.
November 15th, 2015 10:34pm
While every person is different, most people with cancer hate it when people act like they're sad. These are things I have experienced with helping cancer patients. Saying things like: "I am so sorry for you," or "It is so unfair that it happens to you," are, while all true, counter productive. In the early stages, the best thing to do is act like you normally would. If you would go out with them and have fun, don't let it stop you! Most people with cancer just want to have fun and live their lives normally and unless they are too fatigued or when a doctor told them not to do something, they can do it. But let them know that, if they are ever down or unable to do something, now or in the future, there are people around them who love them and who they can count on - be it to provide a listening ear, be it by doing some groceries or clean around the house so they can take the rest they need. Another thing you can be of help with is by visiting the doctor with them. Doctors recommend this as well, but some cancer patients don't know who to ask to join them. So ask them if they have someone who can join them on doctor visits and, if no, they would want you to join them. This is why. When they go to the doctor, they are getting a lot of information at the same time and that can be quite overwhelming. It can be emotional for them, which can cause them to forget some things the doctor said. You can remember those things for him or her. You can also, on forehand, discuss some things they want an answer to and, if in the moment they forget something, you can ask it for them.
November 16th, 2015 4:02am
Persons who are diagnosed with cancer are alone and depressed. So most of them look to us the 7 cups of tea family for support and just to share how they feel. Some are being neglected by loved ones because it is hard for them to accept that they going through this. Sometimes they are the ones who pushes away people who are around them because they cannot bear the pain of them seeing them so helpless and sick. Some are just hopeless and are just waiting to pass away. But hey never refrain from giving them a helping hand. They need it. By being there and supporting them is a great way we can help them. Helping them financially if we can and when they need it. Encouraging them to find a source of spiritual support and also giving them hopes. Speak positively to them :)
November 18th, 2015 8:44pm
Treat them like healthy people. Remember that illnesses don't define personalities. Sometimes they just need some attention,someone to distract them from pain and bad thoughts.
November 19th, 2015 8:32am
How to help someone with cancer isn't an easy topic to ask about or even think about and it's not a simple one to answer either. The biggest thing to think about is to respect their feelings about the situation. If they've accepted it, try to be accepting when you're around them even if you haven't accepted it yet, if you're constantly talking about how "this can't be possible" and "why you", it may begin to upset them. On the other end of the spectrum if someone hasn't accepted it and is still trying to process the situation saying things like "god has a plan for you and he chose this" or "it'll get better" can also likely be the wrong response. Have an open dialect with them and be clear about both your feelings and theirs so you can better help them get through it. Never assume that you understand what's going through their head, every person with cancer is different and handles it differently.
November 19th, 2015 7:51pm
Support them. Be there for them but also let them have their own space. Treat them as normal, do things you would usually do with them. Do fun things in general, they won't Want to think about cancer day in and day out so a bit of distraction, love and fun is always a good idea.
November 20th, 2015 2:12am
Just by being there. Showing you care for them. Your presence will be appreciated. And help them in so many ways.
November 21st, 2015 1:07am
Being a cancer survivor myself, I know the best thing you can do is to keep them thinking positively. Don't be embarrassed to ask questions if you don't know about something or do not understand. Try to stay in contact with them because loneliness is a huge factor associated with cancer. Let them know they are not alone.
November 21st, 2015 5:12pm
Giving them the motivation by letting them know cancer does not really mean it's the end of everything. It could be the start of something, and may change your life but at the mean time, you'll find your true self.
November 21st, 2015 9:25pm
If you personally know cancer patients, be there support them without treating them like aliens or like they're fragile and incapable of doing anything on their own. If not, you can donate or help raise awareness such as participating in runs for cancer or other potential options. A good group to avoid donating to is Susan G. Komen because they actually don't give that much of their profits to cancer research.
November 22nd, 2015 10:43pm
People with cancer are individuals and can benefit from support that's as individual as they are. If you know someone with cancer, you probably have a good idea of something they might need. If you were in school with them, and they can't attend for now, they might want to talk to you about what they are missing so they don't feel as if they can never re-enter. If they are doing art therapy to help with positive visualization, they might want to share their painting with you, and have you respond as specifically as you can. Or they might just want you to listen to how they are feeling, without being told to feel differently. If you keep your heart open to them, you'll find a truthful and sensitive way to help.