Skip to content

    Cancer Health Center

    Font Size

    Cancer Support: Tips for Family and Friends

    Your family and friends become your inner circle of support during cancer treatment.

    What to Do When Family and Friends Can’t Offer Cancer Support

    What can you do if you don’t have a network of friends and family to rely on? Maybe you’ve relocated and your closest friends are on the other side of the country. Or perhaps you’ve become estranged from your family.

    “If you know that you won’t get support from your family and friends, you need to tell your doctor up front,” says Burstein. “You will need help from someone.”

    Buckner agrees. He suggests that you talk to a hospital ombudsman or social worker about your situation. See what cancer support they can offer. You could also try the American Cancer Society or other patient advocacy organizations, he says.

    However, don’t give up on your friends and family too quickly. Regular phone calls from loved ones far away may still help. Even distant relatives can become key cancer supports in a crisis.

    1 | 2
    Reviewed on May 21, 2008

    Today on WebMD

    man holding lung xray
    What you need to know.
    stem cells
    How they work for blood cancers.
    woman wearing pink ribbon
    Separate fact from fiction.
    Colorectal cancer cells
    Symptoms, screening tests, and more.
    Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
    what is your cancer risk
    colorectal cancer treatment advances
    breast cancer overview slideshow
    prostate cancer overview
    lung cancer overview slideshow
    ovarian cancer overview slideshow
    Actor Michael Douglas