Cancer: 12 Tips for Visiting A Loved One With Cancer

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Cancer: 12 Tips for Visiting A Loved One With Cancer

Cancer. It’s one of those diseases people don’t like to talk about. But when a friend or family member gets it, what do you do?

Above all, don’t run and hide. Your loved one needs your support now more than ever. And you may not need to worry about what to say. A listening ear is often just what’s needed.

How to Talk to Someone Who Has Cancer

Here are Preferred Care at Home’s 12 tips for interacting with a friend or family member who has cancer.

  1. Be yourself. Don’t worry about whether things are being done right or wrong.
  2. Be a good listener. Hear what the person is saying.
  3. Let your loved one take the lead in conversations.
  4. Remember that silence is okay. It allows your friend to collect his or her thoughts.
  5. Try to maintain eye contact.
  6. Be careful what emotions and body language you project to avoid upsetting the person.
  7. Your friend is probably not seeking advice, so don’t offer any.
  8. Don’t say you know how your loved one feels when you really haven’t experienced what he or she is going through.
  9. Don’t visit with the person if you don’t have control over your emotions.
  10. Bring some levity to the conversation. Talk about humorous things and other topics. Don’t dwell on the cancer unless that’s what your loved one wants to talk about.
  11. Try to involve the person in as many activities as he or she would like to be involved in. Don’t be a human shield.
  12. Empathy and concern are the best gifts you can give.

Understanding More About Cancer

Cancer Treatment: A Personal Choice

Cancer treatment varies depending on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Options may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Radiation
  • Surgery
  • Pain management
  • A combination of two or more of the above

People with cancer have to choose whether to be treated. Some let the disease run its course without medical intervention to prolong life. Others opt for all treatments available. This is an individual decision, and the person needs to be supported whatever the choice.

Causes and Symptoms

Things that could contribute to various forms of cancer include:

  • Tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Hormones
  • Radiation
  • Food/diet
  • Amount of physical activity/weight
  • Workplace/environment

Some of the possible general symptoms include:

  • A lump or thickening in the breast or testicles
  • A change in a wart or mole
  • A skin sore or a persistent sore throat that doesn’t heal
  • A change in bowel or bladder habits
  • A persistent cough or coughing blood
  • Constant indigestion
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unusual bleeding or vaginal discharge
  • Chronic fatigue

For more information on how our caregivers can provide reliable, compassionate care for people with cancer, please contact us today to experience the Preferred Care at Home difference.

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