Dismiss Modal

Resources for Cancer Caregivers

Cancer Caregiver

Learn More About the Bassett Cancer Institute

Visit our cancer care page, or call the Bassett Cancer Institute if you or a loved one has questions related to cancer care:

Learn More: Call: (607) 547-3336

Join Our Cancer Support Group & Living Well Workshop

We offer two different support groups to help patients navigate their cancer diagnosis. The Bassett Cancer Institute's (BCI's) Cancer Support Group provides social & emotional support & referrals to other cancer support services & specialists. Bassett Living Well's workshop provides self-management techniques, information, & support in dealing with cancer & its treatment. Learn more:

BCI Cancer Support Group Living Well With & After Cancer

National Resources

Whether your role as a caregiver involves daily care, medical care, involvement in decision making, or support, there are many national resources available that can help you in your caregiving journey:

The American Cancer Society is a nationwide, community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. They also provide numerous resources for people diagnosed with cancer, as well as their caregivers and family – including a cancer helpline and live-chat feature.

Visit the American Cancer Society's website to learn about what to expect if you become a caregiver for a person with cancer, view their interactive caregiver resource guide, get tips for taking care of yourself while caregiving, and more.

CancerCare is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical, and financial challenges of cancer.

Learn more about CancerCare's professional support services for caregivers and loved ones, including counseling with an oncology social worker, education workshops, and support groups.

The Cancer Support Community is the largest professionally-led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, and is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community.

Learn more about what being a cancer caregiver may involve from the Cancer Support Community, including being involved in or just being present during treatment decisions, how a cancer diagnosis can impact a family / social network – including children and teen family members, as well as friends and coworkers – and additional resources that are available to watch and read.

The CDC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services, and protects the United States from health, safety, and security threats – both foreign and in the U.S.

Visit the CDC's Advice for Caregivers of Cancer Survivors webpage to learn more about how to help someone who has been diagnosed with cancer or has survived a cancer diagnosis stay physically or mentally and emotionally healthy, and tips for how you can do the same as their caregiver.

Local Resources

Find local resources and organizations that offer support for cancer caregivers:

The New York State (NYS) Office for the Aging & NY Connects works to improve access to and availability of services that enable older New Yorkers to live, work, and age in their community of choice.

Sean's Standing Strong Memorial Fund's mission is to assist people ages 18 to 24 who are affected by cancer. They provide financial assistance towards educational pursuits or participation in recreational activities where the young person’s illness creates a barrier to leading a full, meaningful life.

Visit their webpage to learn about the eligibility guidelines and how to apply online.

The Cancer Research Center of the Finger Lakes seeks to create and sustain a community of support for people living with and affected by cancer.

Visit their website to learn about their services, resources, and events. The Cancer Research Center of the Finger Lakes has also compiled helpful resources about each common type of cancer.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know that many of your questions will be about your loved one's specific cancer and their treatment plan, so we encourage you to use the resources listed on this page to help you ask your loved one's cancer care team these questions directly.

The American Cancer Society has many resources that you might find helpful during this process, including lists of questions to ask your loved one's doctor, information to understand the diagnosis, and a guide for patients and families after receiving a cancer diagnosis.

The resources included in American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)'s Trusted Information About Caring For Someone With Cancer document will also help you ask these questions and collect the information you may be looking for, including fillable sections to organize your loved one's health care team (page 3), symptom tracking (page 11), medication list (page 12), and other information.

We hope the below list will help answer some of your more general questions about being a caregiver for a loved one with cancer.

Each cancer diagnosis is unique, as is the patient's medical history and personal preferences regarding treatment. Your loved one's cancer care team considers all options and specifics when developing a treatment plan. This includes the type and stage of the cancer, if it has spread to nearby areas, what research is available, current clinical trials, risks and benefits of each treatment option, and the goal of treatment.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) offers treatment guidelines for patients, as well as patient and caregiver resources. Visit their website for more information.

You can't prepare for a cancer diagnosis – especially if your child is the one who is diagnosed. You may feel lost, confused, angry, sad, anxious, in shock, or any other emotion.

The American Cancer Society offers many useful resources for parents whose child has been diagnosed with cancer, including parental tips on coping with the diagnosis, how to help your other children cope based on their age, how to help your child adjust to their diagnosisnutritional information, and much more.

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 is a United States labor law that was designed to protect employee jobs with unpaid leave for qualifying family and medical reasons.

Visit the American Cancer Society's webpage for more information about FMLA, including qualifications, fact sheets, and how FMLA may be used.

Remission is the period of time when the disease is responding to treatment or is currently under control. This can either be partial or complete, meaning that the disease is being reduced (or for cancer, it's shrinking), or that all signs and symptoms of the disease are gone and the disease can no longer be detected through testing.

Someone with cancer may still receive treatment while they are in remission, since the cancer cells may still be present. This is known as maintenance therapy, and is designed to keep the cancerous cells from spreading.

Learn more about cancer remission from healthline.com.

You will need to accept the new situation in order to be an effective caregiver. In many instances, this involves allowing yourself to grieve and comprehend the new changes to your loved one's life, as well as your own.

Caregiver stress is extremely common, and there are many resources and strategies available to caregivers to help them learn how to deal with the physical and emotional demands involved with caregiving.

Learn more about self-care as a caregiver, stress management, and the different types of grief and loss:

Even if it's just for moral support or the occasional visit, help from other loved ones can be invaluable. That help can come in many forms, no matter how near or far your siblings or other family members are from you and the person you are providing care for.

Learn how you could get more help from other family members from the Family Caregiver Alliance:

Long-distance caregivers generally live an hour or more away from their loved one. This can make the coordination of care difficult, but there are steps that you can take to assist a loved one who lives far away from you.

Learn how you can help as a long-distance caregiver from the below resources:

Being a caregiver is difficult, especially if you are taking care of a loved one.

The Family Caregiver Alliance, part of the National Center on Caregiving, has compiled a list of tools you can use as a caregiver to identify any personal barriers and move forward with self-care while you care for your loved one. They have also created a list of simple steps and strategies to keep in mind to ensure you care for yourself.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has also created a page to help caregivers care for themselves. Learn about their tips for taking care of yourself, including understanding how stress affects you, protecting your physical health, recharging when needed, and practicing good mental habits.

It is very common to feel overwhelmed and exhausted at certain points in your caregiving journey – especially if you are also working full or part time and have other family obligations.

Respite care is an option that gives caregivers a break from their caregiving responsibilities. Learn more about respite care from HelpGuide.