Every year, over 11 lakh cases of cancer are reported in India. Although concern over this disease has increased over time, more awareness is still required. Normally, the cells in your body go through a process of dying and new cells forming, to keep the body functioning normally. Cancer develops when this cycle is disrupted. Old cells in the body, instead of withering away start forming masses of tissue, called tumours. Breast cancer and blood cancer are the most common cancers in India but are easy to treat when detected early
Cancer can affect people of all ages but many times it reaches a critical stage before it can be diagnosed. Hence, the affected people have different types of requirements. If your friend or loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, it can be difficult to understand what to say to them or what actions to take. Even small efforts from you can make a big difference in the affected person’s life.
Here’s What You Can Do To Help:
Be Available For Them:
Let your friend know that you are available for them even when you are not around.
- Send texts, share videos, memes, etc. to keep in touch with them.
- Let them have their private space. Dealing with cancer is emotionally stressful and they might need more alone time.
- Balance out their alone time by visiting them sometimes to show that you care. Tell then when you are visiting next so you can help out if they need anything.
Talk to them in a regular way so that they are not constantly reminded of their illness. Changing your tone or looking too concerned may make them feel overwhelmed.
- Be supportive of their condition and try to make them feel positive. Patiently discuss uncomfortable topics as well, if that’s what they want.
- Laugh with them, hug them or do a fist bump. A light conversation and humour can make your friend’s day.
- Be a good listener as sometimes all people need is to wallow. Ask questions when you don’t understand something and let them know that they can talk to you about anything.
Help Out With Errands:
Offer to take on daily responsibilities for them. Talk to their caregiver if they need anything to be done outside the house or at the hospital.
- Take their pets for a walk, or go along with them. Help out with buying groceries or sorting mails.
- Ask them if you can bring anything they need before visiting them. Ask the caregiver too if they need something, as it will help both of them.
- If you have a car you can offer to drive them to the hospital for treatments or doctor’s visits.
Prepare Yourself Beforehand:
Before you can be available for your friend you need to understand that your friend or loved one is going through a hard time. They will experience physical and emotional changes and may look different when you see them. Be mentally prepared before you see them so that you don’t appear shocked by their appearance and don’t get too emotional in their presence.
- It can be difficult to deal with the fact that someone you care for is going through cancer. Take time to process your emotions before meeting them. Being too upset when you meet them can only make them feel worse
- Read up on their diagnosis or talk to someone who is already aware of the person’s condition. Explaining the same thing over and over can be difficult for the person affected.
Dealing with treatments for cancer is a long-term commitment for the person going through it and the people around. Always take your time and calm yourself first, if the situation seems out of control. If you are the primary caregiver of a cancer patient, ask for help when you need it and take care of yourself as well. Our blog articles on heath and fitness will give you useful tips on how you can reduce your risk of diseases and cope with cancer in a healthy way.