Gift ideas and other ways to help someone going through breast cancer

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One out of every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer, making it an incredibly personal disease.

But no matter if someone close to you is going through breast cancer or a distant acquaintance, there are a multitude of thoughtful ways to show your support. From care package ideas to organizing a meal train, here are some ways to help out.

Organize a meal train

Eating may be the last thing on a cancer patient's mind, but making sure dinner is ready on the table and their children's lunches are packed for school are frequently one of their priorities. Organizing a meal train, where the community comes together to plan meals for a patient and his or her family, can take a huge burden off the patient's shoulders. 

There are plenty of platforms that make organizing these projects with the community easy, with calendars and to-do lists, such as Meal Train and Take Them A Meal.

Make a care package

Whereas flowers may be the first thing that comes to mind for someone who is sick, it's actually dissuaded by physicians because of the harm it may have on someone with an already compromised immune system. 

Instead, care packages are an easy and thoughtful way to support a cancer patient, as they can be personalized depending on the patient's needs and interests. Always welcomed essentials include a hypoallergenic throw, a sleep mask, a mastectomy pillow and the gift of an unlimited Kindle subscription

Shop: Sleep Comfort Eye Mask, $15.99

 

Shop: Velvet Reversible Throw, $24.99

Shop: Mastectomy Pillow Seatbelt Cushion, $22.95

Shop: Kindle Subscription, different prices and plans available

Another gift to show support for breast cancer patients is the AnaOno bra, created for breast cancer patients by a then 27-year-old woman who underwent a bilateral mastectomy after being diagnosed. 

Pitch in with daily tasks 

Cooking and dinnertime may be solved with a meal train, but what about all the other household chores that may be weighing on a patient's mind? Alleviating stress from errands and chores are an easy way to help one who is sick and undergoing treatment. Whether it's cleaning the house, picking up the kids from school, running errands in between doctors appointments or even walking the dog, there are a lot of ways to show support by taking on daily tasks. 

Support during treatment

Some people may like privacy during their doctor's visits and infusions, whereas others rely on the support of family and friends to not only transport them to appointments, but to sit with them as well. Sometimes a patient lacks a close support system; other times, their spouse's employer may not be as accommodating and a patient is left by his or herself to make it to certain appointments alone.

Whether you're there to hold their hand through infusions or distract them through procedures, these acts of support are invaluable to most patients.

Send a card or even a monetary donation

Sending a card, text or email to tell your loved one that you're thinking of them can mean a world of reassurance. And since treatment does not come cheap -- cancer patients are twice as likely to declare bankruptcy -- monetary support, even the smallest amount, can go a long way. 

20 PHOTOS
Celebs who have had or are battling breast cancer
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Celebs who have had or are battling breast cancer

Olivia Newton-John 

(Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus

(Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)

Robin Roberts

(Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

Giuliana Rancic

(Photo by Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic)

Suzanne Somers

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Gloria Steinem  

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for AOL)

Sheryl Crow

(Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Cynthia Nixon

Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images)

Wanda Sykes

(Photo by Tara Ziemba/Getty Images)

Kylie Minogue 

(Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 25: Hoda Kotb is seen on the set of the Today Show on September 25, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)

Carly Simon

(Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Dame Maggie Smith 

(Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Christina Applegate 

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Shannen Doherty

(Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)

Janice Dickinson

(Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

Rita Wilson

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)

Edie Falco 

(Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)

 Sandra Lee

 (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Kathy Bates

(Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic)

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