Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home

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Caring for the Patient With Cancer at Home: A Guide for Patients and Families

Advances in cancer treatment and changing health care systems have led to shorter hospital stays and sicker people being cared for at home. Non-medical caregivers now find themselves taking on the roles of trained health professionals.

This guide gives you general information about caring for a person with cancer at home. It lists the more common problems people with cancer experience, signs of problems you can look for, and some ideas for things you can do if problems come up. The information given here is not meant to take the place of talking with your doctor or nurse. The people who know your situation well can give you the information that you will need the most.

We have many other materials on cancer and cancer treatment that may be helpful to you. You can get them from the local office of your American Cancer Society, on our website at, or by calling 1-800-227-2345.

Trade names are used in this guide because they are well known. Their use does not represent any previous testing or backing by the American Cancer Society. Generic drugs or other brands may be recommended by your doctor or cancer care team.

Last Medical Review: 11/05/2013
Last Revised: 11/05/2013