Sunday, January 13, 2008

How to Care for Someone With Bone Cancer


Bone cancer is a disease in which malignant tumors invade and cause damage to the bones. When someone you love has been diagnosed with bone cancer, there are things that you can do to help. For some, bone cancer is a temporary limitation, since many people survive this disease and go on to live productive lives. Some with bone cancer require a great deal of supportive care during recovery.


Difficulty: Challenging



Step One

Listen. The person with bone cancer for whom you are caring will usually try to tell you how much or how little attention is needed. Do not always assume that you know best. Instead, try to be respectful of the patient's wishes while not being afraid to offer information or your own opinions and concerns.

Step Two

Expect to be many things to the person with cancer. You will be called on, at times, to be a comforter, a counselor, financial advisor, personal assistant and go-between.

Step Three

Learn about the kind of bone cancer that your loved one has so that you can understand better what he is experiencing. Inform yourself about his treatments so that you understand what is affecting the patient. Stay informed about new developments and treatments, as you may need to help direct your loved one's treatment in the future.

Step Four

Go online to cancer blogs and other cancer Web sites and read tips that will help a caregiver understand what to do. Start with the American Cancer Society's Web site (see "Resources" below). Staying connected will help make you more effective.

Step Five

Help the individual to find a support group in your area so that care is not coming from only one person. You can find support groups online at the American Cancer Society's Web site.

Step Six

Learn to refresh yourself with rest and regular activities such as walks or hobbies. Being a caregiver can be emotionally draining and depressing at times. Being at your best means that you can also give your best.

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