Cancer Caregiver Support & Help

Cancer Caregiver Support & Help

A man and woman sitting on a couch smiling together
Are you a caregiver looking for support?

You’re invited to join a research study to help caregivers cope with the demands of their caregiving role, and connect to a sense of meaning and purpose, despite challenges. Researchers at MSK are studying how to best provide support to caregivers (family members, friends) of MSK patients. If you are caring for someone with stage III or IV solid tumor cancer, you may be eligible to participate. Participation includes 7 private and confidential sessions with a counselor, free of charge. For more information and to enroll, contact [email protected].

At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we recognize caregivers as an important part of the cancer care team. As the family member or friend of someone with cancer, you may find yourself taking on new responsibilities while coping with your own emotions.


You may have to learn about your loved one’s diagnosis or treatment options or help make decisions about their care. This could involve learning new skills, giving your loved one medication, or going with them to appointments. It may also include providing physical care, such as helping them manage symptoms like pain or nausea.

It’s normal to sometimes feel overwhelmed by the stress of caregiving — especially if you’re also working a full-time job and looking after children or other family members. But you’re not alone: MSK has various resources to support you as you take on this role while also caring for yourself.

We are here to help you focus on your loved one, and yourself. Findhelp can support your whole family. It helps you find local services for things you may need, such as healthy meal delivery, rides to appointments, and more. Search for resources using your zip code.

Educational Resources for Caregivers

Patient and Caregiver Education
Books about Caregiving

Here’s a list of books about caregiving that you might find helpful:

100 Questions and Answers about Caring for Family or Friends with Cancer  
Authors: Susannah L. Rose and Richard T. Hara

Always on Call: When Illness Turns Families into Caregivers  
Editor: Carol Levine

Cancer Caregiving A-to-Z: An At-Home Guide for Patients and Families  
Author: American Cancer Society

Cancer Caregivers  
Editor: Allison J. Applebaum

Caregiving: A Step-By-Step Resource for Caring for the Person with Cancer at Home  
Authors: Peter S. Houts and Julia A. Bucher

Caregiver’s Guide for Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant  
Author: National Bone Marrow Transplant

The Human Side of Cancer: Living with Hope, Coping with Uncertainty  
Authors: Jimmie C. Holland and Sheldon Lewis

Love, Honor & Value: A Family Caregiver Speaks Out about the Choices & Challenges of Caregiving  
Author: Suzanne Geffen Mintz

Things I Wish I’d Known: Cancer Caregivers Speak Out  
Author: Deborah J. Cornwall

Share the Care: How to Organize a Group to Care for Someone Who Is Seriously Ill  
Authors: Cappy Capossela and Sheila Warnock

Helpful Articles

Information about caregiving written by MSK staff:

9 Tips for Caregivers: How to Help a Loved One with Cancer  
Caring for a loved one with cancer is a meaningful yet challenging role. We asked experienced caregivers to share some of the advice that helped them through the process.

Caring for Caregivers  
Clinical psychologist Allison Applebaum talks about therapy options for people caring for cancer patients.

Four Ways You Can Help Support Caregivers  
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, the disease can throw the entire family into turmoil. The person who becomes the primary caregiver can benefit from the support of others just as much as the patient.

Helping Caregivers Care for Themselves  
Clinical social workers Annamma Abraham Kaba and Linda Mathew offer tips for caregivers coping with the pressures of attending to a loved one with cancer.

Caregiver Videos

Helpful information about caregiving from MSK:

New to Caregiving? Hear Advice from MSK Caregivers  
New to caregiving? Hear advice from MSK caregivers.

Support for the Caregiver: Practical Advice and Tips for Coping  
Watch our expert panel, including experienced caregivers, share resources and tips to help caregivers and their families.

Touch Therapy for Caregivers  
Massage and touch can be important components of the healing process both during and after cancer treatment. A massage therapist from MSK’s Integrative Medicine Service gives a demonstration of different techniques that caregivers can use on their loved ones.

Help for the Caregiver  
Providing end-of-life care for a family member or friend with cancer can be an equally rewarding and challenging job. Carol Krueger, an MSK social worker, offers advice for people who are caring for a family member or friend with cancer and explains how supportive services, such as counseling, spiritual guidance, or bereavement therapy, can help caregivers cope with the demands of this role.

Survivors and Family Caregiver Panel  
Melissa Stewart, a clinical social worker at MSK, moderates a panel of survivors and family caregivers.

MSK Support Services for Caregivers

Caregivers Clinic in the Counseling Center

Our Caregiver Counseling Services provide support specifically for people who are having difficulty coping with the demands of being a caregiver. The purpose of this clinic is to help you maximize your ability to provide care to your loved one while attending to your own self-care, needs, and other important responsibilities. For more information, call 646-888-0200.

Social Work

Social workers can help you manage different issues across the cancer care continuum. They provide individual counseling and host support groups. Our social workers can also help refer you to community agencies and programs. For more information, call 212-639-7020 or email [email protected].

Talking with Children about Cancer

Our Talking with Children about Cancer Program provides information and support around how to talk to children about their parent’s cancer diagnosis through individual consultations as well as adult and child support groups. For more information, call 212-639-7029.

Resources for Life after Cancer Treatment (RLAC) Program

The RLAC Program offers seminars, workshops, and support groups to address topics related to life after cancer. This includes insurance, employment, emotional concerns, and caregiver issues. For more information, call 646-888-8106.

Bereavement Program

The Bereavement Program offers free telephone consultations, support groups, educational lectures, and referrals to community resources. Our social workers have expertise in dealing with the psychological, social, spiritual, and practical concerns for individuals, families, and friends who are grieving. Sessions are professionally led, confidential, and free. For more information, call 646-888-4889.

Virtual Programs

Our Virtual Programs offer online education and support for caregivers of people undergoing treatment at MSK. These are live sessions where you can talk or just listen. Our live, interactive sessions are confidential, free, and led by expert clinical staff. Visit for more information about Virtual Programs and to register.

Caregiver Support Group

Our virtual caregiver support group offers the opportunity to discuss the stresses, challenges, and rewards of providing care for someone with cancer. Visit to register.

Language Assistance Program

Our Language Assistance Program (LAP) offers professional medical interpreting and translation services to Limited English Proficient (LEP) patients and to patients with vision, hearing, and speech impairment in order to enhance their experience at MSK. LAP helps patients and their family members communicate with everyone throughout the continuum of care. For more information, call 212-639-5981.

Integrative Medicine Service

Our Integrative Medicine Service offers massages, acupuncture, yoga classes, reflexology, meditation, nutritional consultations, and more. To schedule an appointment for these services, call 646-449-1010.

You can also schedule a consultation with a healthcare provider in the Integrative Medicine Service. They will work with you to come up with a plan for creating a healthy lifestyle. To make an appointment, call 646-608-8550.

Integrative Medicine at Home

Integrative Medicine at Home is a monthly online membership program of healthy lifestyle classes for MSK families. The program offers members live, online group classes each week, serving all ages and abilities. For more information, call 646-449-1010.

Rising Voices Choir

Integrative Medicine Services also offers Rising Voices Choir where current or former MSK patients and caregivers can make music together. You do not need singing experience to join. For more information, call 646-449-1010.

Tobacco Treatment Program

Our Tobacco Treatment Program can help you stop using tobacco as you support your loved one through cancer treatment. For more information, call 212-610-0507.

Spiritual Care

Our chaplains are available to listen, support, pray, contact nearby clergy or faith groups, or simply be a comforting companion and spiritual presence. Anyone can meet with a chaplain, no matter their religious affiliation. For more information, call 212-639-5982.

Other Resources

External Resources for Caregivers

These resources provide an overview of basic information that may be useful to you, such as quick tips and advice from experienced caregivers.


We know it can be difficult navigating the challenges presented by COVID-19, especially while caring for someone with cancer. Visit for information and answers to frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19.

To keep patients and staff safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, we may change our visitor policy more often than usual. Visit for the most up-to-date information.