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When Someone You Love Has Advanced Cancer: Support for Caregivers

When Someone You Love Has Advanced Cancer is for friends and family members taking care of a person with advanced cancer that is no longer responding to treatment or someone diagnosed with end-stage cancer.

Being a caregiver to someone you care about may mean helping with daily activities, coordinating care, or offering emotional support. But for someone taking care of a cancer patient at the end of life, caregiving brings added stressors and worries. During this time, it’s important that caregivers take care of themselves too.

This booklet covers:

  • Making new decisions about care
  • How to discuss issues and changes with the health care team
  • Getting support and asking for help
  • Life planning and advance directives
  • Talking with family and friends and bringing up hard topics
  • Talking with children and teens about advanced cancer
  • Communicating with your loved one who has cancer
  • Tips on caring for both your physical and emotional self

If your health care team believes that remission or recovery from cancer for your loved one may not be possible, making these transitions can be hard. This booklet contains some tips on taking care of a loved one, but is primarily for the caregiver. It offers suggestions for talking about end of life care and coping with the new decisions that need to be made for this time

The information in this booklet was last updated in May 2014.