Helping Cancer Patients and Survivors Stay Mentally and Emotionally Healthy

Making Sense of a Cancer Diagnosis
This video shows the difficult but important role that family members can play in helping a loved one make informed cancer treatment decisions.

People with cancer may feel stressed and overwhelmed. It’s normal for them to feel anxious, afraid, angry, or depressed. Cancer treatments also can cause them to have trouble concentrating or remembering things. These feelings and problems can make it hard for them to work or do normal daily activities.

If you’re caring for someone with cancer, you have an important role in helping him or her cope mentally and emotionally.

What Can I Do?

  • Be sensitive to your loved one’s feelings, and encourage him or her to talk about them with you and other family members and friends.
  • If your loved one is worried about money, see our list of resources that may be able to help.
  • Encourage your loved one to join a support group.
  • Talk to psychologists or social workers to find appropriate and affordable mental health and social support services.
  • Help your loved one stay as active as possible. Physical activity has been linked to lower rates of depression, as well as lower rates of recurrence of certain kinds of cancer, among survivors.
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