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Caring for Someone With a Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer is a complex illness that presents many challenges for caregivers. Depending on the type and severity of the cancer, you may have responsibilities that change over time.

What may be required of you

If you are caring for a person with cancer, you may be involved in both practical and emotional support.

It’s important to determine what you are and aren’t comfortable doing. Be honest with yourself and the person you’re caring for about what you can realistically do.

Medical support

As a caregiver, you may also be responsible for giving and storing medicines. If you are uncomfortable administering medication yourself, look for home care services in your area. The Ontario Caregiver Helpline is available 24/7 to help you find support services and referrals in your area. Call 1-833-426-CARE (2273) or use our Live Chat.

Advanced stage cancer care

Advanced stage cancer is a cancer that is unlikely to be cured. You may hear terms like metastatic, terminal or end-stage cancer.

If the person you are caring for is facing a terminal diagnosis, you may want to speak with their healthcare team about palliative care.

Read more about palliative and end of life care.

Get help

Explore our resources below to find community support, peer groups and more.


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Most of us, at some point in our lives, will be a caregiver to someone close to us. A caregiver provides physical and/or emotional support to a family member, partner, friend, or neighbour. Who do you care for?