Suggested Gifts for a Cancer Survivor

Gift-giving can be hectic and stressful for many of us and may be more stressful if the intended recipient is a cancer survivor. One may know a family member or friend who is currently battling cancer. The following are some gifts that might be appropriate and appreciated by a cancer patient.

Gifts for a cancer patient

A spa day

Research has demonstrated that there are health benefits of reduced stress hormones after a massage. I have enjoyed reflexology and agree with the literature that this holistic intervention has improved my immune system. A gift certificate might be greatly appreciated as an excuse to relax and be pampered.


Essential oils such a lavender has become popular and helpful with relaxation. Orange and rosemary have been reported to lift spirits. One might consider using a cool-mist diffuser or a candle made with essential oils. My diffuser has helped me relax and promote sleep.

Gym membership

Studies have shown that exercise can improve mood and lessen fatigue in cancer patients. Exercise class helped improve my incapacitating chemotherapy-related fatigue.

A goodie basket

Your friend or family member may enjoy of collection of favorite snacks, coffee, tea, movies, books, bubble bath, or lotion.

Restaurant gift certificate

While some patients may experience nausea or GI symptoms, a visit to a restaurant can provide a change of scenery and social interaction.

A camera

Surviving cancer is like getting a second chance at life. I have learned to appreciate every moment with family and friends. By taking pictures one can record the memories.

Donation to a cancer foundation

We all pray that a cure can be found for cancer. Any contribution in the name of the cancer patient would be appreciated.

An act of kindness

Do something kind to help your friend or family. Offer to babysit, get her car washed, or doing an errand. No matter how small, this act will be one less thing for the recipient to do which can reduce stress.

Plan an experience together

Consider tickets to a play or show that you know this person may enjoy. Going together can be enjoyable and make memories. A funny movie or comedy can help the person laugh and forget about cancer for a while.

Homemade food

Prepare one of their favorite recipes or offer to cook it with them as a way to spend some time together.

A writing journal

Emotional and expressive writing can help aid the healing process and provides a judgment-free outlet to record thoughts and feelings. My niece recently gave me a five-year journal which I find most relaxing and comforting.

Yoga DVDs

The practice of yoga can help cancer patients relax and find relief from stress. If unable to attend a formal yoga class, the DVD will give the person the flexibility to determine when to practice.

The above list of suggestions can provide comfort to your family or friend with cancer during the holiday season, birthdays, or any other gift-giving events.

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