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Tips For Cancer Caregiver!

Written and reviewed by
Post Doctoral Fellowship In Gynecologic Oncology, MS - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
Oncologist, Bangalore  •  19 years experience
Tips For Cancer Caregiver!

Cancer is a debilitating disease which can destroy lives and families because of its medical and emotional toll.  Those people who treat cancer patients are caregivers and have a medical responsibility according the the Hippocratic oath to prolong the lives of their patients as much as possible, and to make them feel better from a psychological standpoint.  

A caregiver is a person who is not paid who helps the cancer patient recover.  The primary caregiver is usually a spouse, partner, or adult child.  Sometimes close friends and neighbors become caregivers. Caregivers are vital because they help provide the medical care and psychological support needed to ensure that people with cancer live a long and happy life. Cancer patients rely on caregivers since they are most likely to be treated in outpatient centers and not directly in the hospital. Some cancer patients may even be treated at home due to technological and medical advancements.  

Caregivers do many things. They help feed, dress, and bathe the patients. They arrange schedules, manage insurance issues, and provide transportation for the patients.  Basically speaking, they take care of all of the patient’s needs. They become part of the medical team because they have to ensure that the patients take all of their medicines on time, receive necessary medical treatment, and attend their appointments in a timely manner.

Because caregivers are necessary for a cancer patient to fully recover, they must show love and empathy towards the patient, and treat him or her well. Caregivers must also determine when a patient wants to perform a task, but is unable to. One such example is bathing. In this instance, the caregiver must tell the person that he or she needs help in performing the task. Because cancer patients who are independent recover faster and better, the caregiver must encourage the patient to do as many tasks by him or herself as possible.

Caregivers must make the patients feel better psychologically by emphasizing the positive points of treatment, and by discussing topics the patient wants to hear. They should also allow the patient to make as many choices as possible, even if it is discontinuing treatment altogether. 

The above mentioned tips are vital in ensuring that cancer patients live out their diagnosis in good spirits and health, and make a solid and quick recovery. Caregivers rejuvenate cancer patients, therefore their role should not be taken lightly. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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