Health Tip: Being a Cancer Caregiver

Helping to care for a person with cancer may involve issues ranging from understanding medication side effects and communicating with family to providing information to a patient's doctor to help determine if a treatment is working.

The American Cancer Society offers this advice for cancer caregivers, recognizing they may feel overworked and under-appreciated:

  • Always respect your feelings and those of the patient.
  • Use "I" statements, rather than "you" statements. For instance, say, "I need a break" instead of "You never help me!"
  • Focus on the present rather than bringing up past patterns or issues.
  • Offer comforting assertions, such as: "I want to be here for you to help you get through this. You're not alone."

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