The best gifts for a friend with cancer


Whether it's in a spirit of celebration, hope, or simply because giving gifts is a way to show someone that you care. If your loved one has cancer, you may not know what gift to give.

If you don't know what it's like to live with cancer , a well-intentioned gift may not be a good one. For example, gifts that focus or remind a person of how cancer has changed their body are not ideal.

When you talk to your friend or loved one with cancer, you will likely find that you don't expect them to find out what you are going through (after all, you were probably in the same place before you were diagnosed).

A good place to start looking for the perfect gift is to talk to your friend with cancer about what they want and need, and what they would rather avoid or take a break from. If you have a very close friend or someone to act as a spokesperson, you can ask that person as well.

Comfort is the key

When you are treating cancer , comfort is key. Treatment may include hard plastic chairs and uncomfortable exam tables, or going to cold clinics and hospital wards that may not feel particularly welcoming.

Speaking of home, your friend may not want to leave the house unnecessarily, such as seeing a doctor or receiving treatment; You probably value the comforts of home more than ever when you are not feeling well.

Give a friend socks, slippers, pajamas or robes. Sheepskin and chenille products are especially convenient. Warm and luxurious A fleece shawl or blanket is the perfect way to envelop your friend in love and comfort. The fluffier the better!

Don't worry about color or pattern preferences. You can even choose a color or pattern to suit your tastes, which can serve as a reminder of your friendship during the long and often lonely days of cancer treatment.

Add a note that describes the meaning of your gift, for example, "Here's a little warmth for a time when I can't be with you."

Relieve stress

Stress is an unwanted and unpleasant experience for anyone, cancer or not. Aromatherapy pillows, eye masks, and even stuffed animals with essential oils can help some people cope with cancer symptoms .

Although no research has been published in peer-reviewed journals on the use of aromatherapy in cancer patients, several clinical trials have shown that essential oils can help cancer patients cope with sleep, nausea, and anxiety .

You can attach a creative note to your gift, in which you could say, "You can" express "your feelings for me, whatever they are!"

People with cancer are often counseled to stay positive , but this advice is more difficult to put into practice than it is to give.

While there is no scientific research indicating that being positively positive improves survival for people with cancer, research has shown that stress can negatively affect cancer growth .

Bring some fun

Activity levels decline during active cancer treatment, and cancer fatigue comes naturally (even if someone is not currently receiving treatment). Books and movies can be a great way to get away for a few hours.

A funny thriller, a good secret, a thoughtful biography, or a goofy comedy can be a lot of fun, but there may be times when your friend wants something more specific.

If your friend wants to read about cancer, he has a variety of books in a wide variety of genres. Here are some options:

  • 5 Lessons I Didn't Learn From Breast Cancer By Shelley Lewis
  • "It's Not About Hair: And Other Aspects of Life and Cancer" by Debra Jarvis
  • Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor: Inspirational, Supportive, and Healing Stories from Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Mary Olsen Kelly
  • Breast Cancer Survival Guide, Fifth Edition: A Step-by-Step Guide for Women with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer, by John Link.
  • Why I used lipstick before Geralin Lucas' mastectomy

However, your friend may not want to read, watch, or hear about cancer. If you don't know which books or movies your friend is (or is n't ) interested in, consider sharing some of your favorites. You can help her find a new author or genre.

In this sense, it is useful to let your friend know that you do not expect her to read the book you are giving her or to see the movie you are giving her. Your friend may not need to add anything to the to-do list, such as reading a book, to express gratitude.

Warmth and style

Hair thinning and baldness associated with chemotherapy can be especially unpleasant in cold weather. Even if your friend wants to go outside, she might change her mind when the temperature drops.

Bright hats, scarves , and scarves will help your friend dress up in style and even give her a little "spring."

However, don't get obsessed with appearances. Make it clear to your friend that she is loved just the way she is and that she can 'shed her hair' around you without judgment.


For a gourmet friend, treating him to lunch at his favorite restaurant or a gift certificate might be a smart choice. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before giving food-related gifts.

Make sure the diner has a wide and varied menu. It is not uncommon for a person's taste buds to change during cancer treatment, which means that "old favorites" can become the subject of new allergies and sensitivities.

Cancer and cancer treatments can cause a person to stop eating, as nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of chemotherapy. Your friend may also be reluctant to eat out or need to avoid public places due to a weakened immune system.

Alternatively, look for nearby places where food can be delivered right to your friend's door. In a larger city, you will likely have your own choice of services offering delivery and delivery services for food, snacks, and even groceries.

Even if your loved one may be grateful that their friends and neighbors bring them hot food from time to time, they probably have no choice about what food they would receive (or how much).

A friend with cancer who finds it difficult to maintain a healthy diet will likely appreciate a gift that allows them to order exactly what they want to eat when they want to eat it, all without having to go to the grocery store or cook.


A massage gift certificate may seem like a good idea, but if your friend has lymphedema , healing surgical wounds, or painful joints, the body work can be painful.

The same goes for many personal care products.

Be wary of soaps, lotions, and spa gift sets; even most organic products can contain odors or irritants that your friend may not tolerate.

If you're in the mood for a gift like this, here are some tips to make it work:

  • Ask boutiques and salons if they have specialty products for cancer patients.
  • Look for products that are odorless or odorless and do not contain common skin irritants.
  • Give gift certificates that allow your friend to choose exactly what they want or need.
  • Make sure the gift you choose is fully refundable and includes a gift receipt with the gift.

Jewelery and souvenirs

Many online and personal retailers sell bracelets, necklaces, key chains, and other gifts to raise awareness of almost all types of cancer. In many cases, some or all of the proceeds go to cancer research.

The design is often correlated to the color of a cancer awareness campaign (such as pink for breast cancer), but you can also personalize it with talismans that express a specific sentiment or message ( hope, joy, courage, and love ) or a personal letter.

Custom coupons

Sometimes a good gift is not a good material thing. Maybe your friend wants something you can do, not buy.

Personalized gift certificates or coupons are adorable and useful when your friend isn't feeling 100% down. Just make sure your gift certificates are specific.

For example, you can design and print a coupon that your friend can redeem for a cleaning day, a meal night at home, or a week of shopping.

Simply offering an hour of 'help' is unclear and will likely result in the loss of your gift certificate. Ask yourself what maybe your friend doesn't even think about asking for help (or maybe he doesn't want to ask for help), like cleaning windows, gardening, or preparing a child's favorite food.

Specific coupons can be a welcome relief for those overwhelmed with decision-making related to treatment, symptom management, and other aspects of life with cancer.

DIY gift baskets

Assemble a gift basket of items your friend may need during and after cancer treatment. Magazines, magazines, organic lip balms or aloe to soothe chapped skin, a soft stress ball, comfortable socks, scented candles and crackers, gingerbread , tea, and / or a favorite snack are just a few ideas.

While it may take a bit more effort to do this, making a gift with your own hands will show your friend that you've taken the time to think about him or her in a way that a quick gift doesn't.

A variety of gift baskets can also add a touch of freshness and a pleasant surprise to your friend's day, which may have been reduced to scheduling appointments and coping with treatment.

Charity support

For a friend who insists that she has everything she wants or needs, acknowledging her by supporting an organization that cannot be a thoughtful alternative.

Most cancer organizations, hospitals, and societies support charitable programs where people can make one-time or monthly donations, as well as organize inheritance donations. Donors also receive tax breaks for charitable donations.

The institute's year-end financial statements will list the research areas in which investments have been made, as well as the percentage of every dollar allocated to administrative expenses (often referred to as 'equipment and administrative expenses' or F&A).

Look for cancer-specific organizations like LUNGevity for Lung Cancer Survivors and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society . For breast cancer, consider donating to an organization seeking a cure for metastatic breast cancer, such as METAvivor . Many organizations spend a significant portion of their profits supporting people with cancer and finding treatments.

Get the word of drug information

If you're still thinking about the perfect gift, it might be worth trying to put yourself in your loved one's shoes to better understand what it's like to be a cancer patient. It will also be helpful to take a look at the list of what to take with you for chemotherapy .

Finally, remember that supporting people with cancer far outweighs gifts. Just being there to listen and show that you care can mean a lot.

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