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How to lend support when someone you know has cancer
Support from family and friends is critical to cancer patients going through treatment, but what should that support look like? Many of us worry we won’t know what to say or do, or worse, that we’ll do the wrong thing.
A survey by Cancer Treatment Centers of America found that friends and family offer primary support for people diagnosed with cancer. According to the 2003 survey, only 1 percent of male and 4 percent of female cancer patients turned to organized support groups as their main source of support.
“When people are diagnosed with cancer, support from friends and family is often the key to helping them endure the rigorous medical treatments and emotional stress that may accompany their diagnosis,” says Robin Adler, director of mind-body medicine at Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center. “Most people want to offer that support, but they’re at a loss for exactly what to do or where to begin.”
At the clinic, Adler counsels patients and their families, leads support and relaxation groups, provides community-education workshops and links patients to needed resources in the community. Here are her tips for friends and family who want to help but aren’t sure how:
Seattle Cancer Treatment and Wellness Center is the only place in the Pacific Northwest where medical oncologists work side by side with natural medicine practitioners. This integrated approach to cancer care combines innovative medical treatment with naturopathy, mind-body medicine, acupuncture, Chinese medicine and other complementary therapies.
For more information, visit the web site at www.seattlecancerwellness.com.