How much you have to do for the person you care for will depend on the type and severity of their cancer. See the Health A-Z topic about cancer for more information about the different types of cancer.
Medical support and advice
It’s important to have a list of people who can give medical support. A GP or oncologist (cancer specialist) will usually be the best person to speak to. Macmillan Cancer Support (0808 808 00 00) and Cancer Research UK (0808 800 40 40) both have teams of trained nurses. The care that you give may need to change as the symptoms of cancer or side effects of any medication change. Some symptoms may get worse and some may get better, but it’s important to know when to be concerned.
Macmillan nurses can be a great source of specialist cancer information, advice and support. You may be able to get help from a Macmillan nurse in or outside hospital. Ask your GP what Macmillan nurse services are available in your area.
Moving and handling
If the person you care for has mobility issues because of their cancer, you’ll probably need to help them get about. This might involve lifting them out of a chair or bath, or helping them to get around. If so, make sure you have training in how to lift someone, or seek advice so you don’t damage your back. See moving and lifting for more information. If you need equipment to help you move or handle the person you care for, contact your local authority.
Changing the layout of your house may help. For example, if the person you care for has trouble getting up and down stairs, you could move their bedroom downstairs. You may be able to get financial help to make adaptations to your home.
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