Being diagnosed with cancer does not only affect the patient

Being diagnosed with cancer does not only affect the patient. With similar intensity, it often affects people who feel close to the patient: relatives, partners, or friends. Relatives may also feel threat and agonizing fear. In the same way, they may feel existentially insecure and helpless about how to face the challenge called cancer. Very often, relatives want to relieve the person affected from their burden but they are insecure how to help.

Patient and relative in conversation

However, beside the emotional strain, many specific questions can also arise. These questions frequently revolve around how to organize daily life in this new life situation, for example the care for children during treatment, the work situation, and other areas of life. We know that early support and precise information on such questions is also very important for the relatives of cancer patients and that it can help to remove the burden and feeling of threat, and to strengthen the ability to act instead.

Counseling services for relatives

Relatives of cancer patients are very welcome to use our counseling services at the National Center for Tumor Diseases.

We provide answers to many frequently asked questions and we offer you an overview of informative, helpful, and quality-assured brochures and books that are specially designed for relatives of cancer patients.

Of course, we also offer personal counseling if desired. You find the contact person for your specific request on the page with an overview of the respective counseling services.

For comments or criticism

Patients and relatives can contact the NCT Patient Advisory Committee: patientenbeirat@nct-heidelberg.de

  • …social and social law issues, for example, "As a family, what social benefits can we claim? How can we reconcile work life and patient care? What possibilities do we have when we need to organize care for our children?", please refer to the team of social services.
  • …how to cope with emotional strain, how to support a cancer patient, or how to deal with your own thoughts and worries, please refer to the team of psycho-oncology service.
  • …how to explain to children that a parent or loved one is suffering from cancer, please refer to ANKKER (website only available in German), a specialized counseling service of the psycho-oncology service team for families with children. Individual or family counseling sessions are offered both for parents and children or adolescents.
  • …nutrition, dietary changes or changes in weight in connection with cancer, please refer to the team of nutrition counseling.
  • …the topic of excercise and sports in connection with cancer, please refer to the team of "physical activity and cancer".
  • …for consultancy and outpatient advice and treatment - in the case of severe, advanced illness or complex physical and psychosocial stress, please contact the palliative medicine team.
  • ...the topics of advance healthcare directive and healthcare power of attorney, or how to deal with ethical conflicts, please refer to the ethics consultation team.
  • …the hereditary cancer risk in your family and the possibilities of a molecular genetic investigation, please refer to the genetic counseling team.
  • …the development, diagnosis, and treatment of different tumor diseases, please refer to the Cancer Information Service.
  • …for orientation, to accompany you to adjacent clinics or if you need someone who lends you an open ear, then please contact the NCT guide program.
  • …the possibilities of exchanging experiences with other cancer patients and relatives, please refer to the self-help team.
  • …the topic of smoking cessation, please refer to the smoker's consultation team.

What NCT counseling services can I use as a relative?
Generally speaking, all of our counseling services can also be used by the relatives of our cancer patients. Depending on the specific questions, the individual counseling services offer different possibilities to get informed and to receive support.

Can I also refer to the NCT psycho-oncology service when my relative suffering of cancer is not or no longer treated at NCT?
Yes, psycho-oncology support is also offered to persons, whose relatives suffering from cancer are treated in another clinic than NCT.

Where can I find support or counseling if I need to explain to children or grandchildren that a loved one is suffering from cancer?
Questions on how to explain a tumor disease to children are answered by the counseling service ANKKER (website only available in German). If needed and desired, we also offer counseling sessions for children.

I want to get targeted information about the tumor disease of my partner or relative. Where can I find reliable and trustworthy information?
The Cancer Information Service offers comprehensive and wide-ranging information on tumor diseases and treatment, both via its website and telephone hotline. For further information, you can download the Cancer Information Service brochure (PDF-File).

Is there a cafeteria inside or nearby NCT?
Inside NCT, on the first floor, you will find a cafeteria that offers hot and cold drinks, snacks, and cakes. You can also find a cafeteria and a kiosk in the Kopfklinik (head clinic), ground floor, and in the Krehl Clinic, first floor.

Where can I find information on…
accommodation in Heidelberg?
how to park the car at NCT?