What is a Caregiver?

El cuidador es una parte integral del equipo de atención para el cáncer que actúa como defensor, amigo y ser querido del paciente.

As a caregiver, you influence how a patient deals with their illness. Your support helps the patient continue with the possibility of a demanding treatment plan and take steps to get well, such as eating healthy meals and getting enough rest.

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Caregiver’s Role During Cancer Treatment

Caregivers are often responsible for keeping track of prescriptions, planning for upcoming tests, and keeping doctors aware of any issues. Caregivers may also help loved ones with daily activities such as driving to appointments, picking up medicines, cooking meals, or doing chores.

Recursos útiles para cuidadores:

When facing a cancer diagnosis, understanding, and navigating the health care system can be challenging. Find helpful resources for navigating health insurance coverage so you can focus on what matters most.

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Resources and Support for Cancer Caregivers

Just as patients experience challenges throughout their journey, caregivers also experience emotional, physical, and mental stress. Caregivers are often untrained for their new responsibilities and are typically the lifeline of the person with cancer.


La Sociedad Americana contra el Cáncer ofrece varios recursos para familias que apoyan a un niño con cáncer pediátrico. Los recursos abordan temas difíciles como hacer frente a la noticia de un diagnóstico, ayudar a los hermanos a ajustarse a un nuevo entorno y revisar el sistema médico cuando se cuida a un niño.

Los recursos están disponibles a continuación:


Many cancer patients need help talking with their care providers due to age or illness. Sometimes it’s because of age or because of illness. In these cases, the caregiver steps in to help by listening, asking questions, and updating the team on how the patient is doing. Here are some simple steps caregivers can take to effectively have these vital conversations:

Maintain notes of your appointments from the beginning. Treatment can be overwhelming, so keeping a record of what you’ve been told can help eliminate miscommunication and keep you focused.

Ask questions. It’s the health care team’s job to help patients and loved ones understand the condition, its treatment, and potential side effects.

Don’t expect yourself to remember every question you have for the doctor. Write questions in a notebook and bring them to the appointments.

Use that same notebook to take notes during the appointment. It will be easier to reference these notes as questions arise.

Importance Of Self-Care for Caregivers

Being a caregiver can be exhausting. It is important that caregivers also take care of their own physical and mental health.

Stress from this demanding role can cause health problems, including insomnia, appetite changes, and feelings of anxiety, depression, or loneliness. You are not alone. About half of all caregivers don’t get enough continuous sleep, making them feel tired, and leading to poor quality of life. It’s important you take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. Visit Healthier You for ways to take care of yourself during this difficult time.

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  • Feeling overwhelmed? Try to arrange for respite care. Respite care is temporary care for a person who is unable to care for themself and allows the person’s usual caregivers to have a break. Ask your loved one’s health care team about community resources if you are having difficulty finding respite care.
  • If your loved one is facing a cancer diagnosis, connecting with others can provide support and comfort. Reach out to family members, friends, those who share your faith, or a support group for emotional support.
  • Manténgase activo. La actividad física regular puede reducir su riesgo de depresión.
  • Many caregivers provide financial support, reduce their work hours, or even quit their job to care for their loved ones. Resources are listed below that may provide assistance.

Fuente: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/survivors/caregivers/caring-for-yourself.htm
Publicación https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/caring-for-the-caregiver

View List of Caregiver Resources

Transitioning from the Caregiver Role and into Survivorship

Your loved one may need assistance as they recover from treatment.

Survivorship can be a difficult time, too. Treatment offers a clear goal and an end date. Without this structure, you and your loved one may feel lost. Remember to take things one day at a time as both you and your loved one begin this transition.

La transición para dejar el papel de cuidador puede ser un proceso gradual. Hable con su ser querido sobre lo que necesita y cómo puede ayudarlo. Si su ser querido puede asumir un papel más independiente, bríndele apoyo y anímelo a que lo haga. Mantenga abiertas las líneas de comunicación.

After cancer treatment ends, there are many ways to support your loved one during survivorship. For example, you can:

  • Learn about the possible late side effects of treatment and watch for them.
  • Join them during follow-up appointments and scans.
  • Help them collect medical records as they transition back to their primary care doctor and from an oncology team.
  • Offer emotional support.
  • Create a survivorship care plan with members of the health care team and your loved one. The plan should include:
    • Summary of diagnosis and treatment.
    • Responsibilities of all members of the health care team.
    • Plan for follow-up care, a screening/testing schedule, and side-effect management.
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