Supporting Your Loved Ones with Their Cancer Diagnosis


Supporting Your Loved Ones with Cancer

Cancer affects every individual in unique ways. Family and caregivers are critical for support and comfort.

Often times we are nervous about what to say or do. We don’t want to respond the wrong way. Some helpful tips for supporting your loved ones with cancer include:

1. Validate their feelings. Validation involves acknowledging what they’re thinking, feeling, or experiencing. Orient your body towards them and make eye contact. Listen and avoid thinking about what you might say next. Make reflective statements so they know they have your full attention.

2. Avoid saying that you understand or know how they feel. This is a great example of how to be invalidating. Cancer creates complex emotions, and it’s difficult for others to know what they are experiencing.

3. Ask them how you can help. Maybe you could run an errand or two for them, help watch their kids one night, or pick up their mail if they’re tired. Sometimes, getting others to assist with daily tasks can provide a lot of relief and comfort.

4. Silence is a beautiful thing. It’s okay to not always talk. Simply being present with your loved one shows them you care.

Looking for more content on cancer? Then check out other videos in our Psych in 60 series or leave your questions in the comment section below. If you’d like Dr. Emma Kate Wright to speak to your organization, send an email to!

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