If somebody you love is fighting cancer, they may be experiencing some troubling side effects of cancer treatment, and you will want to do whatever you can to help ease these symptoms. While being present and consistent as a friend is comforting and helpful in itself, there are more steps you can take as well.
How Can You Help Relieve the Side Effects of Cancer Treatments?
Below are some of the more common problems that arise from cancer treatments, with actions you can take to help.
- Skin Issues: Someone with cancer is at risk for a number of treatment- and disease-related skin issues. You can help by encouraging the person to use sunscreen, helping to guard the afflicted areas of skin from bumps, bruises, or other trauma, and making sure the skin is kept clean and dry.
- Hair Loss: You can help the person to look into wig options before starting treatment (to best match their natural hair color to the wig), if they are concerned about hair loss. Hair loss can also be reduced by using baby shampoo (and washing hair less often), and using a soft hairbrush.
- Depression: If you see signs of depression in the person, communicate your concern immediately with their doctor, who can evaluate medications being taken for depressive side effects and determine the best course of action to take to help.
- Stomach Sensitivities: Nausea and vomiting are normal side effects of chemotherapy, but can be eased with anti-nausea medications, avoiding greasy or spicy foods, and consuming smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. You can help by preparing light, nourishing meals that are more tolerable for the person.
Above all else, simply being there is a great help to someone experiencing the side effects of cancer treatment. Allow the person to share their thoughts, fears, and concerns, and respond in a way that lets them know you are listening and that you care. Sometimes, something as simple as a hug or providing a hand to hold can make all the difference in the world. Be prepared for the person to talk about their condition if they wish, and always be ready to lend an open and nonjudgmental ear.
Find more information on helping a loved one manage the side effects of cancer treatment and other cancer care tips from Heaven at Home’s experts in home care assistance in Denton, Plano, Dallas, and the surrounding areas. Learn how our in-home care services can make life more comfortable for someone with cancer. You can reach us online or at 940-380-0500 any time for more information.