What It Takes to Be a Caregiver

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Who is a caregiver?

The following related information may also be helpful to you. These materials may be ordered from our toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345.

Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home (also available in Spanish)

After Diagnosis: A Guide for Patients and Families

Choosing a Doctor and a Hospital (also available in Spanish)

Talking With Your Doctor (also available in Spanish)

Understanding Chemotherapy: A Guide for Patients and Families (also available in Spanish)

Understanding Radiation Therapy (also available in Spanish)

Nutrition for the Person With Cancer During Treatment (also available in Spanish)

Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Diagnosis (also available in Spanish)

Helping Children When a Family Member Has Cancer: Dealing With Treatment (also available in Spanish)

Where to Turn - Patient and Family Support Program (brochure)

A Message of Hope: Coping With Cancer in Everyday Life (also available in Spanish)

Financial Guidance for Cancer Survivors and Their Families: In Treatment

Health Insurance and Financial Assistance for the Cancer Patient (also available in Spanish)

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

Anxiety, Fear, and Depression (also available in Spanish)

Distress in People With Cancer

Sexuality for the Man With Cancer (also available in Spanish)

Sexuality for the Woman With Cancer (also available in Spanish)

Advanced Cancer (also available in Spanish)


The following books are available from the American Cancer Society. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 to ask about costs or to place your order:

Cancer in the Family

Caregiving: A Step-by-Step Resource for Caring for the Person With Cancer at Home

Couples Confronting Cancer: Keeping Your Relationship Strong

Crossing Divides: A Couple's Story of Cancer, Hope, and Hiking Montana's Continental Divide

What Helped Get Me Through: Cancer Patients Share Wisdom and Hope

What to Eat During Cancer Treatment

National organizations and Web sites*

Along with the American Cancer Society, other sources of information and support include:

American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Telephone: 1-703-838-9808
Web site: www.aamft.org

    Sponsors www.therapistlocator.net which provides referrals to local marriage and family therapists. The site also contains educational materials on helping couples live with illness, as well as other issues related to families and health.

Cancer Hope Network
Toll-free number: 1-877-467-3638
Web site: www.cancerhopenetwork.org

    Volunteers provide free and confidential one-on-one telephone support for people with cancer and family members.

Cancer Legal Resource Center
Toll-free number: 1-866-843-2572
TTY: 1-213-736-8310
Web site: www.disabilityrightslegalcenter.org/about/cancerlegalresource.cfm

    A non-profit program of the Disability Rights Legal Centet offering free and confidential information and resources on cancer-related legal issues to cancer survivors, their families, friends, employers, health care professionals, and others coping with cancer.

Toll-free number: 1-800-813-4673
Web site: www.cancercare.org

    Offers free professional support services, including telephone counseling, online support groups, and educational materials, to people with cancer, their loved ones, and caregivers. Also offers CancerCare for Kids at www.cancercareforkids.orgor CancerCare's main number shown above. This program is designed for children with a parent, sibling, or other family member who has cancer. It offers practical support, education, and counseling to parents and to children.

Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA)/National Center on Caregiving
Toll-free number: 1-800-445-8106
Web site: www.caregiver.org

    For free information and resources on long-term caregiving.

Gilda's Club
Toll-free number: 1-888-445-3248
Web site: www.gildasclub.org

    A Web site of welcoming communities of free support for everyone living with cancer -- men, women, teens, and children -- along with their families and friends. It provides networking and support groups, workshops, education, and social activities.

National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)
Web site: www.caregiving.org

    Provides information and other resources focused on caregiving issues, as well as www.familycaregiving101.org, a source of answers, new ideas, and helpful advice for caregivers.

National Cancer Institute
Toll-free number: 1-800-422-6237
TTY: 1-800-332-8615
Web site: www.cancer.gov

    An excellent source of up-to-date information about cancer for patients and their families.

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-896-3650
Web site: www.thefamilycaregiver.org

    Offers a free caregiver welcome kit and www.lotsahelpinghands.com -- a volunteer coordination service for friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors to assist loved ones in need. The program utilizes a chosen "coordinator" and helpers sign up on an easy-to-use, private group calendar to assist with meals, rides, and other tasks needed for life to run smoothly during a crisis.

Well Spouse Association (WSA)
Toll-free number: 1-800-838-0879
Web site: www.wellspouse.org

    A national, non-profit membership organization (dues are charged) which provides emotional support to spouses and partners of chronically ill and/or disabled people.

*Inclusion on this list does not imply endorsement by the American Cancer Society.

No matter who you are, we can help. Contact us anytime, day or night, for information and support. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.

Last Medical Review: 04/26/2010
Last Revised: 04/26/2010