Nowadays, cancer patients undergo treatment as outpatients. They are not required to stay in hospital. But, cancer treatment can be very painful, debilitating, exhausting and depressing. They do need all the support and encouragement they can get…from family and friends.

So, how do they get what they need?

Much research has been done on this subject. Researchers have found that cancer survivors do much better with strong emotional support. Patients in remission are found to do the following:

  • Adjust better to the life changes brought about by cancer

  • Develop a more positive outlook

  • Feel less depressed

  • Enjoy a better quality of life

So, a cancer patient’s family and friends can, and do, make a huge difference in the lives of cancer patients.

So, what can you do?

Spend more time with your friend – find out how their daily life is being affected and changing because of this disease. Keep your friend busy with different activities – and consider whether these will need to change as the cancer treatment carries on. Personalizing the help and care to what your friend needs and likes doing, is the best way to support your friend.

You can show your friend how much you care. Send short, frequent notes or make regular calls.  Ask questions about the treatment and state of health and mind. Return their calls and messages promptly. Be patient with them – chemo can be very tiring and nauseating: your friend could be irritable, go off food, exhausted and depressed. Be there for him or her.