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7 Ways Cancer Affects The Entire Family And What Can You Do?

Image Source A cancer diagnosis is often one of the most stressful experiences of an individual’s life. The anxiety, the stress, the fear, and the unstable emotions can all make coping with a cancer diagnosis even harder.   However, people who suffer from a disease like cancer are not alone in feeli


Image Source

A cancer diagnosis is often one of the most stressful experiences of an individual’s life. The anxiety, the stress, the fear, and the unstable emotions can all make coping with a cancer diagnosis even harder.

However, people who suffer from a disease like cancer are not alone in feeling its impacts. The effects of cancer extend a lot further beyond the patient. Whether it is a parent, child, spouse, friend, or relative, a cancer diagnosis can disturb anyone who loves and cares for the person who is suffering. Immediate family members are affected the most.

When you are diagnosed with cancer, it can bring up a series of emotional responses and lifestyle changes, which can be hard for your family to handle.

Understanding the changes and learning ways to deal with the problems you will all go through may help you grow and maintain your supportive, healthy relationships during this rough patch.

Here are some of the ways cancer affects your entire family and what you can do in order to deal with those changes.

  1. Financial Troubles May Occur

Many people experience financial hardship when they are diagnosed with advanced cancer. Sometimes even having health insurance doesn’t prevent patients and their families from financial problems. In addition to medical costs, patients’ families may also have non-medical expenses, including transportation to hospitals.

For example, people exposed to asbestos, especially navy veterans, may suffer from a rare and deadly cancer, such as mesothelioma. Family members often feel hopeless. They may face serious financial troubles related to the expense of patient care. However, the patient must communicate with their family and let them know about navy veteran mesothelioma compensation for their asbestos exposure. It will not only allow families to get financial compensation for healthcare, but you will be eligible for other military benefits too.

  • Cancer may Affect Your Children

Whether you are a parent of young children or have grown-up children, cancer presents an array of unique challenges. Having a parent struggling with a disease, especially cancer, can be difficult for kids, who may not be able to understand the condition and its implications.

Children’s behavior may be affected as they try to adjust to the changes occurring from your diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Kids tend to become impulsive or clingy, while older children may distance themselves from family activities or become angry.

Communicating with your children is the key. You may want to prevent your children from having difficult feelings, but talking about your diagnosis and treatment is important. Avoiding the topic may allow them to believe something worse, which may develop fear and confusion in children.

Some tips for coping with changes in your children’s behavior include,

  • Encouraging your children to ask what they want to know and answer the questions in the most suitable way
  • Trying to maintain your child’s daily timetable as normal as possible
  • Reassuring them that they will always be loved and receive care.
  • Letting them talk about their fears and feelings
  • Having patience
  • It May Cause Changes In Relationship Roles

When it comes to cancer diagnosis, it often forces alterations to the contributions in a relationship.

You may have always served as a caregiver in your family, and after your diagnosis, you may experience problems accepting a dependent role. Or someone who has never been in such roles before may struggle to become a caregiver and take charge. Some people even become controlling or overprotective. You may find some changes tolerable while others may feel uncomfortable.

Discussing everything you feel with your partner and working on things together can help you make decisions about caregiving, treatment, and other problems.

  • Family Health Can Be Compromised

A cancer diagnosis affects family members on many levels, psychological, social, and emotional. Coping with a family member who is battling cancer is not only distressing but also emotionally painful.

The responsibilities, hospital visits with the patient, bills, and the children’s behavior may exhaust family members, exposing them to a higher risk of developing stress-induced physical and mental health problems. These may include depression, high blood pressure, anxiety, heart disease, and diabetes.

Although you can try to calm down your partner or family member, you can’t avoid stress in this difficult situation entirely. However, some stress management tips, such as exercising regularly, eating healthy, getting good sleep, and socializing with family and friends, can help you and your partner feel less anxious and more relaxed.

  • Changing Responsibilities

Having a partner or a family member suffering from an illness is an enormous stressor. When you are diagnosed with cancer, the treatment may leave you feeling low and tired. This causes the family members to pick up your duties.

From making the decisions to house chores and paying bills, your partner will more likely have extra responsibilities, which can cause frustration. Meanwhile, this may lead you to guilt.

It is important to talk openly about possible solutions so that both partners feel comfortable with these changing responsibilities. Although it may be difficult, accepting help from your friends, relatives, or professionals may be beneficial for the entire family.

  • Varying Emotional Needs

Everyone has different emotional needs. When you are diagnosed with an illness like cancer, your partner and family members may experience anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, or even anger. They may need reassurance that they are loved and that there is still someone to look after them.

You must talk to your family members, show care, and make them feel loved. Spouses may want to consider taking professional support, such as that of a counselor or therapist.

  • Canceling Future Plans

Did you want to go on a family vacation? Did you plan to celebrate your silver jubilee? Cancer often changes your plans, dreams, and hopes. You might have plans for traveling, retirement, children’s education, and more, but your diagnosis may mess them up, leaving you and your family feeling sad and angry.

However, it may help you reevaluate your priorities and work with your family members to make new ones, such as completing cancer treatment first. Ask your partner or family members to spend more time together for now and put other goals on hold. Communicating with and understanding each other is the best way to move forward.


A cancer diagnosis can be the worst experience of a person’s life. It does not only have an impact on the patient but also on the entire family. You may be afraid about how your disease will affect your family. Your family, especially children, may be badly affected and feel disturbed. However, understanding the potential problems and learning ways, such as good communication, taking care, and loving your family in these challenging times can solve a lot of worries.


Daniel Jack

For Daniel, journalism is a way of life. He lives and breathes art and anything even remotely related to it. Politics, Cinema, books, music, fashion are a part of his lifestyle.