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What is a cancer caregiver?

People who have cancer often live at home and get help from informal caregivers—people who help them without being paid. Informal caregivers are usually the cancer patient's spouse, family members, friends, or neighbors, and the majority of caregivers are women.

Many people get a sense of personal fulfillment from taking care of a loved one who has cancer. But informal caregivers usually face physical, emotional, and financial problems that vary according to the amount and kind of care the patient needs. Taking time for yourself can help you be a better caregiver. The National Cancer Institute has tips on how cancer caregivers also can care for themselves.