How to Support Your Family Member With Cancer

Last year my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and as  part of her treatment she had to have a breast cancer lumpectomy which saw the doctors remove the tumor and part of her breast in the hope of stopping it in its tracks. The whole ordeal was very difficult for the whole family and thankfully she went in to remission around 2 months ago.

I know for a fact that none of us could have got through this without the support of one another and if you have someone in your family who is suffering from this awful disease, here are some tips on how you can best support them.

Listening Ear

Sometimes you do not need to say anything at all to your family member, you just need to be on hand to listen when they want to talk. During this time it can be easy to bring your own thoughts and fears to the conversation but it is important that you understand when and where is the right time to bring your own feelings into the equation. Cancer must be an awfully scary time for anyone who is suffering and you being on hand to listen to these fears, can help in a huge way.

Lightening the Mood

Cancer is most certainly no laughing matter but that is not to say that a little bit of light humor can not help to lift the spirits of your family. There is always humor in life, no matter how dark things get and if you want to make sure that you are not all down and depressed, a little joke here and there may just be the trick.


One of the most important things during this awful moment in your lives is that you give the time to your family member. This could be time spent chatting, time going to an appointment, time to go out for the day or whatever other reason that you may want to spend time together. Life can wait when going through a situation like this and it is vital that you put your life on hold and remember that your family is and always will be the most important thing that is going on.


Something that my mother and I did when we were ill was to educate ourselves on exactly what was going on with her body and her cancer. We may very well have been way of the mark in our ideas as to what we thought was happening but it was very empowering for us both. When you break things down into their most basic form such as this, you can get a better understanding of the body and you can also deal with the sadness better, knowing that the body is kind of like car parts. Some people may not want to know what is going on but you should always give it a go.