Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer For Medicare For Providers For Brokers For Employers Español For Individuals & Families: For Individuals & Families Medical Dental Other Supplemental Explore coverage through work How to Buy Health Insurance Types of Dental Insurance Open Enrollment vs. Special Enrollment See all topics Shop for Medicare plans Member Guide Find a Doctor Log in to myCigna
Home Knowledge Center Wellness Library Cancer Support: Coping With Cancer Treatments

Cancer Support: Coping With Cancer Treatments


Finding out that you have cancer changes your life. Making decisions about your care and facing cancer treatment may feel overwhelming. This is a time to become informed, find the support you need, and focus on what gives you hope.

  • Find the information you'll need.

    Doctors and others may offer you lots of information about your type of cancer, your treatment options, and what will happen. It's a lot to take in.

    • Think about taking a trusted friend or family member to your appointments. Ask them to take notes for you.
    • Write down the type of cancer, the stage, and possible treatments. You may want to start a folder you can take to your appointments.
    • Ask your doctor or care team for information on the cancer and treatment options. And ask questions if you don't understand why a test or treatment is being planned.
  • Get help and support.

    If you have friends and family nearby who offer to help, accept their support. You might ask a family member or friend to organize the people helping you so you can focus on taking care of yourself.

    If you need help, your doctor can connect you with local programs that can assist with support, meal deliveries, transportation to your appointments, and other needs.

  • Focus on what brings you hope.

    This may be a difficult and stressful time in your life. But many people find a sense of hope that helps them through it. It may also help to know that current treatments are better than ever, and more people with cancer survive and live longer.

    It may help to:

    • Focus on what matters most. For some people, setting goals—large and small—helps them feel more in charge of their lives.
    • Do things that bring you comfort, whether that is spending time outdoors, being with children, or anything else.
    • Look for what brings you joy. Try to spend time every day doing something that you enjoy and gives your life meaning. This might be prayer or meditation, spending time with people you love, or attending a support group.

Treatment and side effects

Fatigue, or feeling very tired, is a common side effect of cancer treatment. See if any of these ideas are helpful.

  • Check to see if your pain is under control.

    Pain that isn't managed can make fatigue worse.

  • Get extra rest during treatment.

    Fatigue is often worse at the end of treatment or just after treatment is finished.

  • Manage your energy.
    • Notice what time of day you have the most energy. Fatigue usually has a pattern.
    • Set priorities. Make a list of the most important things you need to do. Keep a list of the things that are less important for when you have help.
    • Pace yourself. Plan important activities for times when you have the most energy.
    • Use labor-saving devices. This may mean using a bedside commode or a walker.
  • Switch between rest and physical activity.

    Walking and swimming are good activities to reduce fatigue. Slowly getting more activity may help.

    Check with your doctor before you exercise. Exercise may not be good for some people with cancer, such as those who have a fever or anemia.

  • Plan quiet activities before going to bed, such as:
    • Reading, journaling, or listening to quiet music.
    • Meditation, yoga, or relaxation exercises (like deep breathing).
  • Eat healthy foods.
    • Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may increase your energy. Try nourishing soups, which are easy to digest.
    • Don't skip meals, especially breakfast.
    • Be sure to drink enough fluids.
    • Limit caffeine and alcohol. They can make you feel more tired. And don't smoke.
  • Take care of your emotional health.

    Fatigue is often the hardest part of treatment. It may affect your sense of well-being and your mood.

    • Be sure to tell your doctor if you feel anxious or depressed. Your doctor or a counselor may be able to help.
    • Make time for things that you enjoy, such as listening to music, being with friends, or having a massage.
    • Talk with other people who've had cancer. Your local American Cancer Society chapter can help you find a support group.

Where to learn more

Ask your doctors to suggest good sources for cancer information. They may have information for you or may recommend trustworthy websites. And many hospitals have medical libraries that are open to the public.

A number of national organizations have websites you can trust. They include:

  • The American Cancer Society (ACS) at
  • The National Cancer Institute (NCI) at
  • The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) at
  • The Patient Advocate Foundation at

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Learn how we develop our content.

© 1995-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Related Links

Cancer Support: Being an Active Patient Cancer Support: Managing Stress

<cipublic-spinner variant="large"><span>Loading…</span></cipublic-spinner>

Page Footer

I want to...

Get an ID card File a claim View my claims and EOBs Check coverage under my plan See prescription drug list Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility Find a form Find 1095-B tax form information View the Cigna Glossary Contact Cigna


Individuals and Families Medicare Employers Brokers Providers

Secure Member Sites

myCigna member portal Health Care Provider portal Cigna for Employers Client Resource Portal Cigna for Brokers

The Cigna Group Information

About Cigna Healthcare Company Profile Careers Newsroom Investors Suppliers The Cigna Group Third Party Administrators International Evernorth

 Cigna. All rights reserved.

Privacy Legal Product Disclosures Cigna Company Names Customer Rights Accessibility Non-Discrimination Notice Language Assistance [PDF] Report Fraud Sitemap Cookie Settings


Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of Cigna.

All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

Selecting these links will take you away from to another website, which may be a non-Cigna website. Cigna may not control the content or links of non-Cigna websites. Details