A Dozen Ways to Support a Friend with Cancer

Are you unsure of what to do or say to someone who has cancer? Here are 12 ways to be the kind of support person everyone welcomes.

Are you unsure of what to do or say to someone who has cancer? Do you want to help but don’t know where to start?  Here are 12 ways to be the kind of support person everyone welcomes.

  1. Instead of saying “Call me if you need anything,” be specific. “Can I pick the kids up from school? Take you to your next appointment? Walk the dog? Cut the lawn?
  2. Be a good listener. Let her/him express sadness, fears, frustrations and anger.
  3. Help create a webpage or blog to keep others updated without tons of phone calls.
  4. Don’t be offended if your friend’s not up for company.
  5. Bring flowers from your garden.
  6. Share a funny story.
  7. Bring books or DVDs you enjoyed. No tearjerkers.
  8. Send cards with notes of comfort or encouragement.
  9. Make a CD of happy music.
  10. Don’t expect the patient to comfort you.
  11. Drop off a home-cooked meal or a big salad.
  12. Allow quiet time. Don’t feel you need to fill the conversation pauses.

You can reduce your cancer risk by getting regular medical care, living smoke-free, limiting alcohol use, avoiding excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun and tanning beds, eating fruits and veggies, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.