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How to support a friend suffering from cancer?

Date: 10 Dec 2015   Posted By: Seema Shah     Group: Opinion About    Category: Miscellaneous   

Cancer is disease which can strike anyone. In what ways can I support a close friend who is suffering from breast cancer?
How to bring her out of depression and sadness?
What can I do to cheer her up?
What all can I do to make her comfortable?

Share your thoughts or experiences here.

Need to provide support for a friend with breast cancer? Browse through the tips and useful advice provided in the responses below.

Author: [Anonymous]    11 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Breast Cancer is now a known disease with increased number of cases. Beacuse of our changed life style, many women are suffering with Breast Cancer even at lower age.
You have not mentioned about her stage and extent of suffering.

If it is initial stage, consult a good doctor and get her Cytogenetic test done as soon as possible. This can be done at many labs in Mumbai.
This test will determine the extent and doctor will suggest some medicines if it is initial.
If not, then surgery is the only option which is safe.
Get it done before it get spread.

If the tests comes negative after surgery, then cheers. but if it comes positive, then it is the worst part because now doctor will ask for Chemotherapy.

You have to support her in all phases of her treatment. Breast Cancer is not lethal in most of the cases, so there is no point of feeling depressed.
It is life and there is nothing with certainty. We have to face whatever comes.

Author: Venkiteswaran.    11 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 8  (Rs 8)    Voting Score: 0

A friend in need is friend indeed. You can do many things.
If the person is diagnosed having the breast cancer, then the next measure is to get the best treatment for it and manage it till full recovery.
First, give your friend the needed mental confidence to face the truth. Convince her that she is not the first person to get that problem. Tell her that many thousands who had breast cancer had fully recovered and continuing their normal lives. Make her ready to face the fact and also mentally ready to take the treatment and any trauma that may be associated with the treatment procedures. Discuss with the specialist doctor, discuss with those who have successfully faced and recovered from the disease. Convince her that breast cancer is also one disease like many other diseases we get affected and undergo treatment. There is no social stigma and no one would mind such things nowadays.
Next is the cost or financial preparedness. Go along with her to the specialist doctor or specialist hospital treating this. Discuss the full details and also the normally expected expenses and the stages that is needed. Ask her and her immediate relatives how much they can raise and when and how. Keep a proper tag of sources she can depend. Calculate and keep apart what you can do in this regard in case of need. Ensure that medical insurance if any is valid and current. Ensure premium is paid properly. Send the intimation and claims as per procedure and help her in these matters getting the needed knowledge beforehand.
If possible be with her or at least ensure that she gets a confidante to be with her and help heron days of post treatment trauma (like the vomiting etc immediately after chemotherapy). Convince her that they are just passing phase and will soon be over.
If she is employed, use your goodwill and contact to get her the needed leave ,certificates for leave and any possible posting near her residence or treatment place whichever is convenient and comforting to her.
Keep your continued contact with her and ensure that she gets friends and relatives to be with her and conversing normal cheerful things as a routine. Enquire and associate her with any local social organisation of recovered patients or awareness spreading or social media networks of similar nature.
Please do all these in a way that you also are not put to problems and tiring effect comes and does opposite. You may involve her and you good friends to take turn as per convenience.

Author: Mahesh    11 Dec 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 4  (Rs 4)    Voting Score: 0

Sometimes the best thing you can do is make atmosphere lively. Apart from that you have no control over anything else. You just can't do anything to help the person. I have found that people who want to feel sad, need to come out on their own. We can only help them by making them feel good life is and how they needs to be happy. I guess if we work on making the atmosphere happy and funny, that helps. So you should only focus on environment and then make her or him realize how life is good. And this way slowly she may have more positive outlook towards the world. You can only do that. Anything else than that would not be good and that would lead to pushing too much on yourself.

Author: Partha Kansabanik    11 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

1. Listen to her very patiently. This is most important.
2. Give her motivational talk. Praise her FEMININE qualities.
3. Motivate her to listen to very soft music, preferably instrumental music (without any lyric).
4. Provide her literatures on breast cancer survivors. Many books and articles in Internet are available.
5. Let her take decisions in family matters and other social matters, so that she understands that her importance in the family or among the friends has not diminished due to the disease.
6. One of my relatives runs an NGO for breast cancer survivors in Mumbai. Unfortunately I can't recall the name right now. You may search on internet and ask your friend to attend the seminars and lectures. (Check: Dr. Rita Banik-Cancer Patients' Aid Association?)

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha    12 Dec 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Time has to be utilised in the best way so as to arrest the intensity of the disease and if not attended properly, the situation may agrravate dangerously. Excess thinking or depression is not going to help the patient any way. A proper consultation with the Oncologist would reveal the extent of the disease. Treatment even becomes within the reach of the doctor in the primary stage.
She needs encouragement throughout the treatment. If needed, she has to be accompanied while going for consultation to the specialist. Help her in tracing out a prominent specialist in the nearby area.
In this regard, Tata Cancer Institute located in Bombay should not be ignored for the consultation to arrest the progress of the disease.
A proper follow up of the treatment apart from diffusing her tension would help her coming out of trauma with the dreaded disease.

Author: T.Krishnamoorthy    12 Dec 2015      Member Level: Gold     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Hi seema,
Having breast cancer is normal today. It is noticed that there are increasing cases of Breast Cancer. It is completely curable either by removing organ or by injecting radioactive rays. Delay in taking treatment may worsen the situation.
Secondly, We should behave normal with her and never speak the breast cancer matter in an exaggerated way. You can share your idea in such a way that there are many people living normal life getting cured fully from breast cancer. Now the technology has gown up to maximum level where we could expect all kinds of treatment for cancer. Past pleasant memories can be shared with her to make pleasant these will definitely bring her to feel pleasant and happy.

Author: Jagdish Patro    19 Dec 2015      Member Level: Diamond     Points : 3  (Rs 3)    Voting Score: 0

Generally Doctors say that the outlook of the attendant or the friends change when they are aware of the news about the patient. Even over-caring also makes the patient more depressed and they feel that they are dependent on the sympathy of others. So, there should be a striking balance in our normal behaviour while dealing with them. We should not disclose the signs of sympathy which is the more important element and we should behave in a normal way. As other friends have already mentioned, it is not the end of the road and even 'Chemotherapy' which is considered as a deadly treatment is nowadays made simpler. Constant attendance with cheer and building confidence in them would help a lot. The feel of ignoring them should be avoided to a maximum extant.

Apart from this, proper medication to gain strength in addition to the medicines prescribed is more needed. Nutrient supplements, natural food and green vegetables etc., would help in to gain strength. She should not let down her confidence level to meet the challenge. Moral support is needed at this juncture.

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