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How to provide support for cancer patients?

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Simple attitudes, such as preparing dinner, can make life easier for patients during cancer treatment

The diagnosis of cancer is a difficult and delicate moment for anyone. In addition to the physical changes, the disease can generate emotional and social impact due to uncertainties surrounding the treatment.

It is also common for the patient’s family and loved ones to be impacted by the news and often wonder about the best way to provide support at that time.



The truth is that, in general, it doesn’t take much – just being present makes a difference in everyday life. Patricia de Paula Santos, a psychologist on the palliative care team at Grupo Oncoclínicas, says that there are positive differences in coping with an oncological disease when the patient receives support and presents support network.

“Faced with so many changes imposed by the oncological disease, the patient with a support network, since the diagnosis, presents a better coping with the process experienced. The lack of support makes the context even more complicated. The support of friends and family is an essential basis for the patient to deal with the emotional impact and feel safe and motivated for treatments and interventions regardless of the prognosis”, she says.

Attitudes that help

Not knowing what to say is one of the most common complaints by people who know an oncology patient. However, being good with words need not be the most important quality in situations like this.

“The people involved in care can offer affection, attention and listening, since the patient needs to share feelings, experiences and all the emotional suffering triggered. It is also necessary to help search for diagnostic informationtreatments and rights of cancer patients”, says Patrícia.



In addition, the psychologist emphasizes the importance of encouraging trust and adherence to the guidelines of the team that assists him. Other aspects that help are:

  • Encourage socialization;

  • Maintenance of autonomy;

  • Help with the care routine;

  • Assistance in carrying out life projects and resolving other issues.

With routine treatments, many patients do not have time to do household chores. So another important way of providing support could be by cooking dinner, cleaning the house, shopping at a market or simply taking the person to and from the hospital.

“The patient is more serene, more relaxed in the hospital, they don’t have to deal with problems on their cell phones while they are undergoing treatment. The support network doesn’t need to be big, it’s small things🇧🇷 Categorizing people forms the network: someone to help at home, someone to talk to, etc”, explained Débora Gagliato, an oncologist, during the Coletivo Pink event, led by Pfizer.

Care for mental health

It is not possible to be present and support someone if one’s health is unstable. Just like remembering to maintain a balanced diet, mental health care should also be prioritized.

🇧🇷Oncological disease can emotionally destabilize the people involved and these, in turn, may not be able to effectively deal with and contribute to care – thus needing guidance, assistance and interventions from a multidisciplinary team”, emphasizes Patrícia de Paula.

Therefore, it is important that the person who supports also receives support, whether through psychological counseling or the help of family and friends. Staying stabilized is essential to create a healthy support network.



Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.

The translator user relied on the following source:

Minha Vida Website – REF99827

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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