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5 questions families should ask during their loved one's cancer treatment

It’s important for cancer patients to have family and friends acting as a second set of ears and eyes.
(Photo: Thinkstock)

This content is presented by HonorHealth.

Don’t discount support from family and friends when you’re in treatment for cancer, said Gerry Kato, MD, who specializes in oncology and hematology at HonorHealth.

In addition to advancements in cancer treatment, having a support system is crucial.

Support can and should happen in many different ways. It’s important to have family and friends acting as a second set of ears and eyes.

Here are five important questions they should ask:

1. Are we all working together as a family?

2. Are we noticing any side effects and making sure the patient isn’t under-reporting side effects?

3. Are we helping monitor the patient’s eating, appetite and pain?

4. Are we helping the patient stay on track with his or her care plan?

5. Are we attending appointments with the patient and providing updates to the doctors?

Patients can get overwhelmed and forget to provide important information on treatment progress.

Resources such as cancer support groups and nutritional counseling can help patients and their caregivers understand the patient’s special physical and emotional needs. Cancer care navigators can help families understand what types of services are available to them and guide them toward the most appropriate resources during treatments.

"This is a journey — a very stressful journey. I cannot imagine going through this alone,” Dr. Kato said. “Patients with a good support system do better. They need their cheerleaders.”

Get more information on cancer care at HonorHealth here.