June 15, 2024

Vitavo Yage

Best Health Creates a Happy Life

How can we emotionally support someone suffering from cancer?

3 min read

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a life-altering moment not just for the patients but also for their family members. In the realm of comprehensive and holistic care, emotional well-being is a vital and integral component. It is often a wandering question in the minds of most healthcare providers and family 

members, “How can we emotionally support individuals suffering from cancer?” 

It is not one single act that can make a big difference, rather it is a combination of multiple meaningful actions that can bring ripples of change. Acknowledging the emotional toll on individuals with cancer defines the foundation for effective support and a sense of understanding. Encouraging open dialogue without judgment allows patients to express their fears, concerns, and hopes. Sitting with loved ones through their challenging times with a compassionate presence and empathy can serve as a powerful source of support. Through active listening, it is essential to address the uncertainty with respect to the different stages of treatment and recovery and validate the wide range of emotions felt through the journey.

Each person’s journey through cancer is unique. The emotional support should be tailored through understanding their personal preferences. Some may find support just through quiet companionship, while others may wish to receive space for vocal expressions. Understanding these aspects can enhance the effectiveness of the support provided. Alongside the unique preferences, it is important to keep reminding the family members and their dear ones battling with illness to acknowledge the milestones and build a sense of gratitude and love towards themselves.

Your loved ones should be encouraged to foster a mindful presence of their being. They tend to ruminate in the past in search of the reasons for developing cancer in their body or anticipating the possible side effects of the treatment and their prognosis. With that hustle, they forget to recognise the importance of efforts they can make in the present moment to build a better mind-body connection.

Embracing mindfulness and self-care through simple acts of mindful eating, regular exercise, sufficient quality sleep and building a better lifestyle can make a difference. Not to forget, helping individuals find pockets of joyful moments, realising they are important and people care for them can further provide enhanced emotional well-being.

In addition to motivating your close ones to build better emotional regulation through the illness, providing a consistent supportive connection from your side as a healthcare provider and caregiver can immensely impact their well-being. It is needed to understand that the cancer journey can be marked by fluctuations in emotions, from moments of optimism to times of deep despair. Regular check-ins can convey a commitment to stand with them through the phases of treatment and also aid them in developing a sense of trust and security.

Individuals who feel emotionally well-supported tend to express themselves better, build resilience, openly ask questions and actively participate in the shared decision-making process related to their treatment. Emotional support is an ongoing process. It helps to build a strong foundation of physical and mental well-being, and healthy coping through the complex journey of treatment and survivorship. Providing support and nurturing emotional well-being is one of the greatest forms of investment needed by individuals dealing 

with cancer for their overall health and a better quality of life

(With inputs from Dr Aarushi Saluja, Psycho-Oncologist, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurugram)

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The content provided on this website should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, please contact your healthcare provider immediately. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on a website.


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