Top 5 Tips for Helping Your Loved One with Lung Cancer

By Tara Perloff, Lung Cancer Alliance’s Manager of Support Service

When a loved one finds out they have lung cancer, it can be hard to know how best to help them, what to say or even how they are feeling. We sat down with Tara, our Manager of Support Services, to get an expert’s opinion on the matter.  Through her experience running our Phone Buddy and GUIDES programs, Tara recommends the following:

  1. Take care of yourself. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but it is essential that you find your best support during this journey. You need to be strong and in the best health possible in order to be there for your loved one.
  2. Don’t take it personally. Understand that your loved one is coping with their disease in their own unique way and try not to take things he or she says or does personally.
  3. Respect independence. Your loved one may want to do more for him or herself to prevent burdening you. Go with it and let them as long as it doesn’t negatively impact his or her health.
  4. Don’t change your relationship. When your loved one has cancer, it doesn’t mean that they want to be treated differently or want your relationship to change. Try your best to treat them the way you did before diagnosis.
  5. Be open and direct. At the time of your loved one’s diagnosis, find out exactly what your loved wants throughout every step regarding treatment and support. This way, you will be on the same page and be able to make decisions as a team.

To find out more about being a caregiver for a loved one with lung cancer, call Tara at 1-800-298-2436 or email her tperloff@lungcanceralliance.org.