Top 10 Best Cancer Patient Gift Ideas of 2022

Published July 21, 2022

Gifts for cancer patients

Gift-giving can be an exhilarating experience. The moment a loved one’s face lights up as they open a present is not only thrilling for the recipient, but also gratifying for the giver. However, sometimes even the most well-meant present can miss the mark and cause more disappointment than happiness. Gift-giving can be especially tricky when the recipient is a loved one in a battle with cancer.

Even small tokens of encouragement can have powerful benefits—offering comfort and renewing courage. However, it can be difficult to pick out the best gifts for cancer patients in this emotionally fraught time. While asking is a great way to learn what your loved one wants, surprising them with a gift can be an especially meaningful gesture. Read on to discover ten present ideas tailored to the needs of those fighting cancer.

Why Are Gifts for Cancer Patients So Useful?

Gifts can be a way to show your love, provide utility, or simply let someone know they are in your thoughts. When the recipient of a gift is a cancer patient, the merits of giving can be even more powerful.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy are put through significant physical and mental strain. The following categories of gifts for cancer patients offer a range of benefits, some distracting them from their worries, some easing the strain on their bodies, and others showing support in their battle.

Idea #1: Gifts to Help with Nausea

It is difficult to overstate the toll chemotherapy takes on the body. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Cancer Society (ACS), a few common side effects of chemotherapy include:

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain
  • Sleep problems
  • Skin irritation and dryness
  • Increased risk of infection
  • Sensitivity to cold

Gifts for cancer patients that soothe the physical side effects of chemotherapy, specifically nausea, can bring immeasurable comfort to your loved ones going through or recovering from treatments. Herbal teas such as ginger, peppermint, licorice, or valerian root are all known for their ability to reduce stomach discomfort. In addition to providing stomach relief, peppermint tea also produces a calming aroma.

Idea #2: Gifts for Hair Loss

It is estimated that over 65% of individuals going through chemotherapy will lose their hair, developing chemo-induced alopecia (CIA). CIA can cause hair loss anywhere on the body and induce uncomfortable physical and emotional side effects. When a patient’s hair begins falling out, their scalp often becomes very sensitive and one’s sense of self and confidence can suffer.

In this sensitive phase, soothing shampoos and conditioners can make it easier for a cancer patient to wash their scalp. Gifts of headcovers or other headwear can be both protective and warming to those new to CIA. Hats, scarves, and wigs—while all can be helpful for those experiencing CIA, the giver should stress that their most important concern is the patient’s health and comfort—not outward appearance.

Idea #3: Gifts for Comfort

Cancer treatments can bring patients to many unfamiliar and intimidating environments. Gifts that make a cancer patient you love more comfortable can lend them strength and security. With temperature regulation more difficult due to chemotherapy treatments, cozy clothing and throws can be a real comfort.

When buying a cancer patient gifts, consider shopping for comfortable clothing like sweatpants, pajamas, robes, or even fuzzy socks to help them keep warm. Keep an eye out for fabrics like cotton that are both warm and breathable. Fleece blankets and shawls can also be great additions to care packages for cancer patients.

Idea #4: Gifts for Pampering

Gifts that provide physical pampering and a relaxing environment such as spa days and massages can be much needed luxuries for loved ones fighting cancer. Some scented lotions and soaps are even designed to help cancer patients through the stress and strain of treatments. No matter what you buy, it is best to obtain a receipt so you can return the gift if needed.

Before buying a gift for someone with cancer, recall the procedures your friend or loved one has recently undergone. If their body is not sensitive to touch, a little pampering can go a long way towards renewing their energy. However, if they are experiencing swelling or are healing from surgical wounds, this type of present is not ideal.

Idea #5: Gifts for Boredom

Sometimes, it’s not in moments of high intensity that we need the most help. It’s in the times of downtime and quiet that a gesture or activity is most appreciated. In between chemotherapy and other medical procedures, cancer patients can find themselves bored and in need of distractions to occupy their days.

Because of the toll cancer takes on the body, your loved one may not have the energy to pursue the activities they once enjoyed. Books, movies, board games, and other sources of entertainment can make excellent gifts for cancer patients, alleviating boredom and temporarily taking their minds off of their troubles.

When picking out this type of gift, carefully consider the entertainment’s subject matter. Would your friend like escapism? Humor? To expand their world knowledge? Or to learn more about their disease? Knowing the mindset of the cancer patient makes it easier to determine whether your loved one wants stimulation or a mental escape.

Idea #6: Gifts for Stress Relief

Many are familiar with the mental harm of persistent stress. Less well known is the damage stress wreaks on your body. According to the National Cancer Institute, stress engages the body’s fight-or-flight instincts, raising blood sugar and blood pressure. The Institute reports that chronic stress can even weaken the immune system.

Few experiences compare to the stress caused by cancer, from the shock of a diagnosis to the body’s reaction to treatments. To prevent further physical and mental strain, it is crucial cancer patients find ways to relax and escape their worries. Gifts of puzzles or coloring books can provide a welcome distraction and help relieve your loved one’s stress. Aromatherapy products are another popular remedy for stress and can make great gifts for cancer patients in the form of candles or diffusers.

Increasing your loved one’s overall comfort can also help lower their anxiety and make it easier to unwind. Pillows and eye masks can contribute to a cancer patient’s sense of tranquility.

Idea #7: Gifts for Showing Support & Love

Frequent travel for treatments may mean that physical presents are not the best fit. Instead, a show of support can demonstrate your love without burdening the patient with additional possessions. Providing a donation to a cancer charity in your friend’s name can bring them another form of comfort.

In a special show of support, you can donate to an organization dedicated to the form of cancer your loved one has. Donations to METAvivor, a non-profit focused on funding the search for a cure to metastatic breast cancer, would be especially thoughtful gifts for breast cancer patients. While requiring some research, these cancer patient gifts are a creative way to add a spot of brightness to your friend’s journey.

Idea #8: Gifts for Beauty

Though anxiety, hair loss, and discomfort can take a toll on a cancer patient’s self-esteem, friends and family can help them recover their confidence. Jewelry or other accessories can make cancer patients feel beautiful and cherished as they fight for their health. You could even purchase a piece of jewelry from an organization that helps raise cancer awareness. The majority of these organizations donate a portion of their proceeds to cancer research. Alternatively, you could simply find a piece you know your friend or loved one would enjoy.

If none of these options seem right for the patient you have in mind, jewelry isn’t the only gift that can make cancer patients feel attractive. Helping your friend or loved one update their beauty routine while undergoing chemotherapy is another way to show you care. Fragrance-free skin care products such as cleansers and moisturizers rejuvenate the skin and help improve confidence. In addition, lip balms and hand lotions help counteract the dryness brought on by chemotherapy.

Idea #9: Gifts for Food Lovers

The best gifts for someone with cancer accommodate the person’s interests, needs, and mindset. Gift certificates are a great way to balance thoughtfulness with flexibility and bring a spot of joy into a cancer patient’s life. If your friend loves food, a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant is an especially considerate way to let them know they’re in your thoughts. Given variable treatment schedules, gift certificates also allow them to use your present on their schedule.

If you pursue this option, keep in mind any new allergies or sensitivities your friend or loved one might have developed since their diagnosis. If they aren’t feeling up to dining out, you could instead give them a gift card for a food delivery service so they can stay in to enjoy a delicious meal.

Idea #10: DIY Care Packages

None of the above options feel right? A DIY gift combines the sentiments of the previous presents with a special thoughtfulness no store-bought gift can replicate. Though many may be wary of creating handmade presents, DIY care packages are fun to plan, easy to assemble, and rewarding to give. This care package can simply include little presents you think your friend or loved one would enjoy. If feeling creative, you can add a few meaningful touches like homemade coupons offering help with household chores. You can even offer to help your loved one look into financing options to fund their cancer care.

To cancer patients and their families struggling to keep up with the costs of cancer treatments, financial guidance can be an invaluable gift. Consider looking into financing plans like selling your life insurance policy, which can offer families generous payouts to spend on any cancer costs. Learn more about how to sell your life insurance policy here.

Families, caregivers, friends—cancer draws wide swaths of people together in a patient’s battle for their health. Though this trying time may make supporters feel powerless, giving a gift is a small way to make a big difference in a loved one’s experience—whether providing emotional support, physical comfort, or financial help.

Cancer pushes your body, mind, and budget to their limits. If you need extra financial support, cashing in your life insurance is a viable way to monetize one of your most valuable asset. Life settlements allow policyowners to sell their life insurance in return for a tax-advantaged, flexible payment.

If interested, we encourage you to carefully research this widely-used financial transaction. With our extensive industry knowledge and personalized approach, the life settlement experts at Coventry Direct can help you understand how much your policy is worth. See if your policy qualifies today.

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