Things to Make for Cancer Patients

Rainbow scarf image by Galaxy from

When a friend or loved one is undergoing treatment for cancer, it is natural to want to help or give a gift that will make the journey easier, but knowing what to do can sometimes be difficult. Any gift you give will no doubt be appreciated as a reminder that you care, but a gift you have taken the time to make is even more thoughtful.

Head Coverings

If a cancer patient is undergoing chemotherapy, it is almost certain she will lose her hair. Even if hair loss doesn't bother her on a social level, on a practical level, sudden hair loss can leave an already vulnerable person feeling cold. A knitted hat or scarf is a thoughtful homemade gift for a male or female cancer patient. Even if you don't knit or sew, you can cut a length of fleece long enough to cover a person's head and wrap around the shoulders.


Cancer survivor Phyllis Johnson suggests making your time a gift to a cancer patient. Giving someone a few hours of housekeeping, cooking or childcare while they are undergoing treatment can lift a great burden from the family and help make home the restful environment it should be. Transportation, running errands, shopping or paying bills are just a few of the services you can offer.

A Menu Folder

Time and energy are at a minimum for many cancer patients. Putting together a meal for themselves or their family can be a challenge. A collection of take-out menus from local restaurants along with some gift certificates from a few of those places is a thoughtful idea. If there are several people willing to help, you can include "certificates" for a tuna casserole from Jane and a pot roast from Bill, for example. This is a better alternative than inundating the family with food they cannot store or do not enjoy eating.

Photo Album

A gift that cheers a cancer patient when he is feeling down may be the most thoughtful of all. A photo album or mini scrapbook filled with pictures of friends and family along with their words of love and encouragement is sure to help him get through some rough moments. You don't have to be artistic or crafty to make a meaningful gift; just include photos and thoughts from the patient's innermost circle.

Snack Basket

Cancer patients often have difficulty maintaining a healthy appetite during treatment. A basket of bite-sized snacks may help provide the right food at the right moment if it includes sweet, salty, spicy, sour and savory snacks. Keeping the servings small may encourage the patient to try a few bites instead of worrying about wasting a larger portion too big to finish.