When your friend or relative is diagnosed with breast cancer, they may not be able to fight against the disease themselves. You can play an active role in helping them face the problem. Let’s see what you can do.
#1 Take good care of yourself
You should take good care of yourself first. You, other family members or friends are people who give support and take care of the patients. So you should stay strong to cope with every situation. Eat well, do exercises regularly, and take enough rest.
#2 Get to know about the impacts of breast cancer on the patient’s body
Breast cancer and breast cancer treatment can cause some changes to your friend or relative. They may feel upset, anxious, and depressed. Also, they may lose hair, weight, or scars in the breast and feel extremely tired.
You should be prepared for these possible changes. Tell the patient that they still look good and these changes will disappear after treatment.
#3 Encourage the patient to be active
You should encourage your friend or your relative to do exercises. Start with gentle exercises such as brisk walking, or swimming. Do exercises with them is a good way to support them.
#4 Visit at the hospital
Treatment can take time. It can be painful and the patient may not be able to accept all the changes and problems that occur during the treatment. You can go with them to the hospital, talk with them, encourage then to think positively. You can also take part in health care team.
#5 Go with them to the appointments with the doctor
You can go with your loved one to the appointment with the doctor. Make a list of questions you want to ask the doctor. You should also take note during the conversation. Your friend or relative may be unable to remember all things the doctor says.
They cannot go to the hospital themselves so they need a person to take them there. It is important to ask the doctor about the treatment plan and the improvement of the patient.
#6 Ask other friends and family members to support the patient
Other family members should be involved in this situation. They can give more effective ideas to help the patient to face cancer. When a thing suddenly occurs, you and others can solve the problem more easily and quickly.
#7 What can you do if the patient does not want to receive treatment?
Some people accept to take all treatments they are recommended, but some others choose not to have any. If your friend or relative also choose not to be treated, what should you do? They may think that treatment has too many risk and side effects. And they do not want to suffer pain and discomfort of the treatment.
You can talk with them or take them to a professional. They may reveal the reasons why they refuse treatment. Make sure your friend or relative knows what refusing treatment means.
Although you cannot treat breast cancer for your friend or relative, you can give them support to handle the disease better. Your role is important so do not give up.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: March 21, 2017 | Last Modified: November 15, 2019
Facing treatment together. https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/supporting-someone-breast-cancer/facing-treatment-togethe-0. Accessed February 14, 2017.
Breast Cancer: Tips for Family. http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/breast-cancer-tips-family. Accessed February 14, 2017.
Caring for a Loved One During Radiation Treatment. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/news/features/caring-for-a-loved-one-during-radiation-treatment. Accessed February 14, 2017.
Coping with it all. https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/information-support/facing-breast-cancer/supporting-someone-breast-cancer/coping-it-all. Accessed February 14, 2017.
If your loved one refuses cancer treatment. http://www.cancer.org/treatment/understandingyourdiagnosis/talkingaboutcancer/listenwithyourheart/listen-with-your-heart-if-loved-one-refuses-treatment. Accessed February 14, 2017.