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Gifts for Cancer Patients

Updated on December 19, 2014

Cancer Gift Ideas

Are you looking for some cancer gift ideas for a friend or family member with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or any other type of cancer? This page will give some gift ideas and suggestions that you can make or buy to show that special friend or child that you care for them and are supporting them when they have been diagnosed with cancer.

When Kaylee, my daughter, was diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkin's Lymphoma) at the age of 13 in January 2008, it came as a great shock. Through the ordeal of chemotherapy and losing her hair, Kaylee felt blessed and special by the thoughtful and encouraging gifts that people sent to wish her well and to let her know they were thinking and praying for her.

I have included some links to cancer gifts that you can make yourself if you are a little creative, such as beautiful handmade cards, a knitted teddy, beanie and scarf, or a crocheted blanket. There are also some ideas for cancer gifts which will encourage and support, or cancer gifts which will be of practical use to the cancer patient.

Gifts of Time

Ways to give time to your friend

One of the most precious gifts you can give to a cancer patient is your gift of time. They may need someone to talk to or someone to just be there with them. When Kaylee was going through chemotherapy, I had a mattress set up on the floor of her bedroom so I would be there through the night should she need me (and to wake her up and give her some medications in the middle of the night).

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • listening!
  • cooking a meal
  • baby sitting
  • driving the patient to hospital
  • weeding their garden
  • watching a funny movie together
  • house sitting
  • house cleaning (suggested by jennabee25)

Gifts of Encouragement and Comfort

Gift books to encourage cancer patients

What Cancer Cannot Do Deluxe: Stories of Hope and Encouragement
What Cancer Cannot Do Deluxe: Stories of Hope and Encouragement

Kaylee was given this beautiful book by a friend and although she is not an avid reader she got great encouragement from reading it. And she read it more than once.

Chicken Soup for the Cancer Survivor's Soul: 101 Healing Stories About Those Who Have Survived Cancer
Chicken Soup for the Cancer Survivor's Soul: 101 Healing Stories About Those Who Have Survived Cancer

This book has helped many cancer patients by giving them hope and helping them to realize that they are not alone.


Gift Journals

Writing in a journal may be quite therapeutic for the cancer patient. These gift journals will give cancer sufferers a special place to record their feelings and experiences.

Needlework - What Cancer Cannot Do

If you enjoy doing needlework, here is a lovely What Cancer Cannot Do poem to stitch. This poem comes from the book with the same name (above).

Pink ribbon - what cancer cannot do trifold card
Pink ribbon - what cancer cannot do trifold card

Make a special card - What Cancer Cannot Do

Pink ribbon - what cancer cannot do trifold card

You could even make your own card. Here's a printable card kit which you can buy and download. Simply print the picture onto a piece of card or photo paper, cut out and fold the card into three. You can also cut out the extra ribbons and mount them on the base card with thick double-sided tape to give a three dimensional effect.

Fluffy knitted teddy

Kaylee was given one of the special knitted trauma teddies at the hospital, knitted by volunteers for all the children who had operations. Here are the instructions for making an easy knitted teddy.

Make a crocheted blanket / afghan

Kaylee was given a lovely, colorful crocheted blanket. This is a gift which could be made by a group - a church group, a sports group, work colleagues, a mothers group etc. Each person could make a square then at the end, when all the squares are completed, they can be stitched together to form a cozy blanket.

This video is quite long, but you won't need to watch it all if you can get the hang of it after a few of the rounds.

If you would prefer, you can find written instructions here. This page also includes pictures.

Or for a group of more experiences crocheters, you may like to make an afghan from different crocheted squares.

Practical Cancer Gifts

Head Coverings

Hair loss due to chemotherapy can be very devastating especially for a female cancer patient. A comfortable, reliable, pretty head covering would make a lovely gift for a woman or a girl. Kaylee was given several hats and we bought a few more ourselves.

CJ Hats is a store selling just these sorts of head coverings for a very reasonable price.

Here are several of the hats available. There are many more styles and colors available.

Taupe Silk Look Chemo Hat

Buy From CJ Hats

Knitted scarf

When a cancer patient loses their hair due to treatment, a hand-knitted scarf to keep their neck warm may be gratefully received. Here are the instructions for making an easy knitted scarf.

knitted hat gift idea for chemo patients
knitted hat gift idea for chemo patients

Matching knitted beanie pattern

Cancer patients who suddenly lose their hair can really feel the cold. A snug knitted beanie can help to keep keep the cold at bay both during the day and even in bed at night. Many volunteers knit beanies and scarves for children and there was often a box of these treasures in varying sizes to look through at the children's hospital where Kaylee went. Kaylee was also given several of these beanies and matching scarves hand-made by my Mum. Here are the instructions for making an easy knitted hat.

Gifts to help pass the time during hospital stays, chemotherapy, or in the waiting room - Gift idea for all ages

Touch Screen 4GB 2.8-Inch TFT MP5 Movie Music Personal Media Player
Touch Screen 4GB 2.8-Inch TFT MP5 Movie Music Personal Media Player

Another really thoughtful gift for Kaylee was her MP4 player. Many hours were spent in hospital waiting rooms and treatment rooms. She uploaded songs and occasionally a movie (Pride and Prejudice - her favorite :-))


Gift idea for boys / teens / young men

Kaylee was blessed to be able to receive her treatment at the children's hospital. During our stay, we saw many teenage boys and preteen boys playing on portable game consoles - making them a great gift idea for a boy or young man - or even a girl.

This cancer gift idea will suit almost everyone

Fun Cancer Gifts

Comedy movies for cancer patients

You've probably all heard the proverb: "Laughter is the best medicine." Because a good laugh can make you feel better and at least temporarily take your mind off your problems, a funny movie may be a very good gift for a cancer patient. I have listed some of our family favorites here.

Your Ideas

Anything you would like to see added to this page? Any gifts you should NOT give?

Your thoughts?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I love your site and your list. I would like to share Radiant Wrap, an alternative gown for women to wear during Breast Cancer Radiation treatments. I am a now 2- year survivor and I designed the wrap. It is beautiful, comfortable and the perfect gift for someone you know and love. Here is the website: Thank you!

    • profile image

      ettorecolella 5 years ago

      beautiful list

    • Jillynn profile image

      Jillynn 5 years ago

      My daughter recently began chemo for breast cancer. Thanks for your thoughtful and helpful lens.

    • profile image

      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      I like what you've done here. You and Kaylee are an inspiration.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      What a wonderful lens, these are all great gifts ideas for the cancer patients. I cooked for, cleaned house, washed clothes, and helped my sister all I could when she was suffering from cancer. She been gone almost three years now, I love the time I spent with her. Thanks for sharing, blessed by Squid Angel flinnie.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 5 years ago from GRENADA

      Exceptionally great and thoughtful lens!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 5 years ago

      Great ideas here. I would also suggest pillows.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I hope your lovely daughter is doing well and has this chapter in her life behind her. I can only imagine how frightening it must have been for both you and her to go through this experience. Wishing both of you happiness and good health in 2013!

    • PlethoraReader profile image

      Matthew 5 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Great idea for an article and my best wishes for your daughter as she fights this. Electronic book/magazine readers as well as game consoles can help when facing hours in the chemo chair. Best wishes on a healthy New Year. Blessed.

    • Sunday-Vintage profile image

      Sunday-Vintage 5 years ago

      This lens is great! My stepmother fought and won the battle with breast cancer a few years ago, wish I had seen this back then, such wonderful ideas!

    • profile image

      MiaMusement 5 years ago

      What wonderful and thoughtful suggestions! And, you're so right: simply lending a hand with every-day tasks like cooking, cleaning, running errands, etc. is so appreciated when one is going through treatment.

    • imagelist lm profile image

      imagelist lm 5 years ago

      Thank you for sharing...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I was here in 2010 and glad to see your gifts for cancer patients is still going strong and am pleased to return with fresh angel dust and a congratulations on being included in More Holiday Cheer From The SquidAngels!

    • kcsantos profile image

      kcsantos 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this great lens. Have a great holiday!

    • bbsoulful2 profile image

      bbsoulful2 5 years ago

      My keyboard just cut me off in the middle of my post! One thing I would add to the list would be a home-cooked meal. This was the nicest thing my friends and colleagues did for me and my family -- so appreciated. I would say what NOT to do is those frivolous Facebook posts to secretly post what color underwear you're wearing ("for breast cancer awareness"). I don't pay them any mind, but my adult children are upset by them, because they would rather someone do something FOR someone with cancer instead of play a game. Blessed by a Giant Squid!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Great lense, nicely presented. I don't have the time to search or make a lot of gifts so send my friends and loved ones gifts from CareGifting, They have cancer gifts for men and women, mastectomy gifts and chemo sensitive gifts that hav no scents, toxins and are all natural. The Chemo Sensitive gift is the one I usually send, everyone has really appreciated each product.

    • profile image

      tamara-restuccia-doherty 5 years ago

      Cancer fighting gift baskets from These have healthy foods that can help boost immunity and may shrink tumors or reduce the numbers of tumors.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Thanks for sharing

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I hope your daughter has recovered fully from her cancer. It is just not fair for someone so young to have to suffer this dreaded illness.

    • CoffeeDude LM profile image

      CoffeeDude LM 5 years ago

      Nicely made, very thoughtful lens. I would think just about any small gift that occupies the mind would bring a smile.

    • profile image

      bossypants 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens thoughtfully written and very helpful to those who want to help but may not know how.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome Idea for my mother :D thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I found many stuff their. My friend is suffering from cancer and its a great idea to send such a gifts.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      give gift to cancer patient to wish him.

    • profile image

      candidaabrahamson 5 years ago

      Just back to tell you I enjoyed this enough to make it a featured lens on my cancer lens. Thanks for improving your surroundings!

    • JJNW profile image

      JJNW 5 years ago from USA

      Great info - you are helping people with this lens.

      I am working my way through SquidAngel *blessing* a lens for each of the top 40 level 80 Squids. WOOT!

    • profile image

      candidaabrahamson 6 years ago

      I love this lens. Today I did a post on my blog about what NOT to say to cancer patients, and people responded, rightly, what DO you say and do? Here's a perfect answer to that question, which I hope to use in a future post on that less cynical topic. Also love it enough to pin! Thanks for the touching work.

    • profile image

      Godsgraciousgift 6 years ago

      God bless you & your daughter, too. This is a lens full of thoughtful ideas.

    • profile image

      lymphaticcancer 6 years ago

      Excellent post. Extremely helpful information specifically the last part :) Thank you and good luck.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      If you are looking for excellent ready made cancer gifts baskets, check out CareGifting They offer a variety of cancer gifts and cancer gift baskets that really have healing and motivational products. The Bamboo socks are perfect for anyone going through chemo, super luxurious and soft.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for the ideas. I recently went to see a friend at the hospital who has Leukemia and I wanted to take a her a gift but had no idea what to get her! Now I know! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I like to purchase cancer gift collections from They offer the most caring, healing gift collections I have ever seen.

    • profile image

      All-About-India 6 years ago

      awesome lens...loved it.its great to see that you have time to spend a thought for the cancer patients.Gifts for Cancer Patients are really stunning. Good job GonnaFly.

    • CritterLover LM profile image

      CritterLover LM 6 years ago

      This is a GREAT page! Cancer runs rampant in my family. I'm definitely going to share this. Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image

      DannyLondon 6 years ago

      Thank you for posting a great lens, my dad past away few years after losing the battle to carry on, i always do what i can to help others with cancer, thank you posting this lens keep up the good work.

    • MissMinny profile image

      MissMinny 6 years ago

      Inspirational, encouraging, and wonderfully informative! Great work on a great lens. Best and warmest wishes to your daughter Kaylee and yourself.

      Miss Minny

    • profile image

      suzywillium 6 years ago

      I found this type of lens for long time.... you have clear knowledge about cancer patients.........need more post on cancer

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think you have some great suggestions here for showing your support for cancer patients! I have always found that poem about what cancer cannot do to be so inspirational. I hope your daughter is fully healed and doing well now!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      ~ Cupid Kisses by a Squidoo Angel ~

    • ajgodinho profile image

      Anthony Godinho 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Firstly, I hope and trust that your daughter, Kaylee, is well and keeping in good health. Great work on this lens filled with gift ideas for cancer patients. **Blessed by a Squid-Angel**

    • jennabee25 profile image

      Jenn Dixon 7 years ago from PA

      This is wonderful! I myself am starting to knit chemo caps for cancer patients. Another cool idea I saw was a free cleaning service for cancer patients. That would be another really neat thing for someone to do!

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      BW Duerr 7 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      Came back to lensroll and fav. :D Thanks so much.

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 7 years ago

      Excellent ideas. **Blessed** and featured on My Time as a Squid Angel

    • SoyCandleLover profile image

      BW Duerr 7 years ago from Henrietta, New York

      Wonderful ideas for comforting and encouraging a cancer patient. My best wishes to your daughter and family.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

      Terrific ideas for boosting the spirits of someone with cancer.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 12/10/2010.Have a great day!

    • javr profile image

      javr 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Our prayers are with you. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Every things you done here making you just like an Angel :)

    • Sammy24 profile image

      Sammy24 7 years ago

      That is great! Really good ideas. Come check out my lense on being selfish when someone is sick and let me know what you think! Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Awesome ideas for cancer patients, lensrolling and will feature on Handcrafted Bottles of Hope For Cancer Patients. ~ Blessing you big soft heart!

    • profile image

      TraceyFitzgerald 7 years ago

      I thank you for this. I am inspired by the courage of those who can go on. Thank you for providing a way to shed a little happiness in a sad and scary situation.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      nice lens. thank you


      Discount Wheels | Buy Laptops | Buy Cameras | Clothing Store

    • profile image

      gillia28 7 years ago

      by using cancer awareness bracelets showing our sympathy to cancer survivor, we can use it or give to our friend as a gift

    • LoKackl profile image

      LoKackl 7 years ago

      Very sorry your family had to go through this. All best to Kaylee and loved ones. squidangel blessed.

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 7 years ago from UK

      Returning to this kind and thoughtful lens to leave ~*~* Angel Blessings *~*~ Glad to see another Squid Angel found it too. :) Though the real angels here are those who take time to help others so I hope this wonderful lens reaches out to many. Hoping Kaylee is going from strength to strength.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 7 years ago

      Great lens. Blessed by a SquidAngel :)

    • profile image

      jessicahoward 7 years ago

      To spend time with them is the best gift for the cancer patient and this lens will be very useful and helpful.

    • burgessvillian profile image

      burgessvillian 7 years ago

      My father is going through treatment right now. I think spending time is the most important.because he was always there when I needed him. Bringing joy to a person is probably the best gift you could give no matter what the source that joy came from.

    • Sharon Weaver profile image

      Sharon Weaver 7 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Unfortunately too many of us have friends or family who have been diagnosed with cancer. This is a wonderful lens for us to feel like we can help.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 7 years ago

      What a great idea for a lens. A friend of mine was recently treated for cancer, and she said what helped so much was getting rides to the hospital for treatment, and having someone to talk to.

    • encouragingwords profile image

      encouragingwords 7 years ago

      Thank you for this thoughtful page; I have lensrolled it to Get Well Wishes and Words of Encouragement.

    • MissPuppy profile image

      MissPuppy 8 years ago

      GREAT gifts to bless cancer patients!

    • Kate Phizackerl1 profile image

      Kate Phizackerl1 8 years ago

      I was worried that this lens might commercialise misery but it doesn't. It's sensitively done. Well done. Blessed.

    • spunkyduckling profile image

      spunkyduckling 8 years ago

      Thank you for this very touching lens and for sharing your story. A mutual connection: my dad died with cancer about 6 years ago. Brought tears to my eyes reading this and joy too. Glad to know your daughter is doing well and may she take care of herself. I love crafts! yay!!! I'm feeling to write about crafts and my dad...

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 8 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wonderful lens! Lensrolling to my Cancer Warrior lens. Thanks!

    • indigoj profile image

      Indigo Janson 8 years ago from UK

      Wonderful idea for a lens. Wishing Kaylee well.

    • nickupton lm profile image

      nickupton lm 8 years ago

      I think time is one of the most important, particularly in the latter stages of terminal cancer.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      I was looking for a gift for my cousin, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. I'm going to send her the books you've recommended. I'm glad Kaylee is doing well. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Lovely idea for a lens, I am sure it will be helpful to many people. Blessed by a SquidAngel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      What a precious lens. God bless you and Kaylee. My goodness she is a beautiful girl. Wonderful to hear you've been give the "all clear". With love, Darcie

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 8 years ago from United States

      Wonderful suggestions and thank you for sharing the instructions on how to make the gifts featured!

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to dustytoes] Thanks. My daughter is doing well now. We just saw the doctor again today and were given the all clear.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 8 years ago from Australia

      [in reply to Webcodes] So sorry to hear about your aunt.

    • Webcodes LM profile image

      Webcodes LM 8 years ago

      Nicely done lens. My aunt recently passed away from cancer. I only wish I had spent more time with her talking about memories. 5* .

    • dustytoes profile image

      dustytoes 8 years ago

      I don't remember which of my friends told me about the site "" but I went there and ordered a free cookbook for my neighbor when she found out she had cancer. She really appreciated it. I will be lensrolling this to my knitting for charity lens, and I hope your daughter is doing well now.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      You're officially blessed!

      It's great to meet another homeschooling mom at Squidoo! You've got some nice lenses.

    • puzzlerpaige profile image

      puzzlerpaige 8 years ago

      You know, I'm glad I found this lens. When the time comes that I may need a gift like this I wouldn't know what to do or give. It's good to know someone who knows what to do. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is a good idea.