IntroductionWhen someone is sick everyone automatically sends wishes and get well cards to the person undergoing the sickness.What most people do not realize are the effects that the sickness has on those closest to them; specially cancer. The impact that cancer has on the family is almost as detrimental as the impact it has on the patient. Cancer is a disease that targets a single body but in the end destroys an entire family. In what ways does cancer affect the patient’s family members? In the same way cancer patients are fighting growing cancerogenic cells and tumors, the people supporting them are fighting physical, psychological, financial, and emotional sickness due to the diagnosis of cancer of a loved one. Physical EffectsFamily members take on the role as the primary caregiver in which their daily routines and obligations alter dramatically. Even before the patient was diagnosed with cancer, families have given care to them but being a caregiver to a loved that is ill is a new adjustment. On average, caregiving for a person who has cancer takes about fourteen to twenty-four months but can be shorter and/or longer depending on the health status of the patient. (I?ycki and Wo?niak). The person that is sick once contributed to the family needs before diagnosis and was used to being in that role, but now a member of the family such as the spouse or close family member will now have to fill in the place. This shift will cause minor or major trouble for the person adjusting to the new role since they are not use to being the main provider (“Family Life”). Some of the duties that are required include chores such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, picking up an extra job and general work inside and outside of the house (“Caring for the Caregiver “5). All of these new found responsibilities ends up taking a toll on the family because if help is needed the caregiver will hide that they need help so they do not stress out patient. ( I?ycki and Wo?niak).Sixty-one percent of family members support their other family members (Basra, Finlay,,Golics, and Salek), resulting in caregivers having levels of difficulty taking care of children like dropping and picking them up from school and the extracurricular activities that they might participate in . Going through the process of caregiving is asking for help from friends and immediate family( I?ycki and Wo?niak). Being the person that keeps everyone in the loop of treatment can cause physical stress such as tiredness, weak immune system, sleep malfunction, slow healing of wounds, higher blood pressure, changes in appetite or weight, headaches, anxiety, and depression (“When someone You Love..”). Being the updater on the medical process means having to tell every person the patient is close to the most up to date information regarding the treatment process, the patient’s well being, and also the wellbeing of the other members of the family.( “Family Life”). Since some of the care will happen at home, family members act as a doctor at home and conduct medical procedures and the family makes the patient the main focus on whatever is concerning. Caregivers can have their own health issues that they are fighting and that they have to balance and still be physically strong enough to give care to their loved one in need. ( I?ycki and Wo?niak).Family behavior at work and school leads towards a harmful path while there is a lack of communication in thus affecting family dynamics. A family could go through individual differentiation meaning following strict formats and deny outside help, or can be at a state of interdependence which means trying to get through the process independently through other members of the family (I?ycki and Wo?niak). Approximately sixty percent of family members that act as caregivers to their loved one have no social life. (Basra, Finlay,,Golics, and Salek ). If another member of the family is not getting the amount of proper rest that they need then they will get sick, being unable to give support to the sick because they are ill themselves. The result of this would be that there is one less person to provide as a caregiver and one more person needed to rehabilitate back to health. (I?ycki and Wo?niak).Sixty two percent of caregivers are involved in medical processes and family relationships are affected. Fifty two percent of caregivers go to work and study for school assessments. Fourteen percent of family members do not have good time management skills and do not have time to plan for other things. Sixty seven percent of family members sleep and health are altered because of diagnosis. Ninety one percent of family members cannot return to the daily activities once the patient has returned back to health or has passed.(Basra, Finlay,,Golics, and Salek).Financial ProblemsThe cost for the treatments and medications are far from inexpensive. It is difficult to pay for the costly hospital bills. Since patients are unable to work, the household income and ability to pay mortgages tend to decrease. In order to pay bills there has to be some type of payment plan put in place to be able to afford all of the medical care that the patient needs. Research has to be done to make sure what treatments that can be covered to save the family as much money as possible in order to support themselves and their sick loved one. Due to the lack of finances it reduces the extra spending which means buckling down on expenses to try to make ends meet. (“Family Life”). Traveling to hospital appointments and paying for parking are also included in the finances. There are often financial worries on how everything will get paid or even if they will get paid at all. There are three common costs when it comes to having a family member with a cancer diagnosis: direct medical costs, direct non-medical costs, and indirect non-medical costs. Direct medicals costs focuses on costs of the treatment process, such as appointments to conduct Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) , computerized tomography (CT) scan, and X-radiation ( X-rays), checkups, general practitioner (GP) visits, home care tools for when the patient is not at the hospital , and is now getting care and also medications whether bought off the shelf or provided by a primary pharmacist. Direct non-medical costs relate to expenses to do the treatment such as paying for a parking space to go to the appointments and home bills for heating, electricity, and groceries. Indirect non-medical costs deals with not been being at your working environment and paying for therapies and/or other types of counseling. Other components that go into finances include when the patient has to go to treatment locations out of state or out of the country, costs of airplane or bus tickets, and staying at a hotel or an unfamiliar living environment overnight until the appointment time has come. Money is difficult to come by at times like this which is when the last resort is to apply for some type of grants in order to become financially stable but that is only if you qualify. According to Linda Sharp and Allien Thomas,”five hundred and thirty-nine respondents reported that they had had some savings at the time of their cancer diagnosis. Of these, a total of 57% reported that they had had to use some (50%) or all (7%) of their savings because of their cancer diagnosis ” (Sharp and Timmons ).Emotional and Psychological EffectsFamily members have anger towards the medical personales that are involved with the treatment of their loved one. The family feels that the medical staff involved in the process may not doing their absolute best to treat the patient because their family members health may be getting worse. Anger expressed to an outside person that is not apart of family is used as a mechanism in order to relieve the anger that remains inside oneself. Anger might also rise because of confusion on the different stages of health which causes more pent up anger towards oneself, the patient, and other family members. Anger tends to be one of the most common reactions when there is confusion on how to feel or resentment because of the traumatic diagnosis. Faith and religion may also play a major role because one may feel that the procedures being conducted goes about their spiritual beliefs. (I?ycki and Wo?niak). Ninety two percent of members talked about the emotional impact of a loved one being diagnosed. (Basra, Finlay,,Golics, and Salek). ReassuranceMembers of the family often think about what the future holds in order to relieve themselves of some of the pain of the current state of their sick loved one. There is a sense of putting on a brave face so that there is no disturbance between the patient and other family members. (I?ycki and Wo?niak). Two interviews were conducted for how cancer patients viewed how their family members were being affected in countless of ways due to their diagnosis. A thirty-nine year old male who was diagnosed at the age of twenty-two talked about how his family reacted. He stated that his family was supportive but also hid a lot at the same time. They hid their own emotions because they were trying to be strong for him. His response to that was for his family to try to keep as much normality as possible. A fifty-year-old retired female accountant assistant who was married with four children says that members of the family need as much support as they can receive and they need reassurance that everything is going to be alright in the long run. (“Lung Cancer”). Family members become not as available to one another as they once were in the past. Family members often feel guilty if they are not right by the side of their loved ones for even a small amount of time because that want to make sure that they are comfortable (I?ycki and Wo?niak ). There needs to be a reassurance that everyone still loves and cares for one another.BeliefsWhen family members are perceived as being upset they think that this is a sense of emotional and mental weakness.(” How Families Cope with Cancer” 2). Families at a state of denial thinking that their loved one is not actually ill and if they do express their feelings it will be seen through their loved one’s outbursts. (I?ycki and Wo?niak). The ill patient encountered the disease through genetics, the family is afraid that the sickness always will lead to death of a loved one. Family members believe that if they have a more optimistic approach to the process that that will be good enough to kill the illness in order for it to go away. A family can choose to keep the matter of their loved one’s health either in the family or make it open on depending cultural beliefs (” How Families Cope with Cancer” 2). Helping HandMembers of the family that have a hard time coping with their sick loved one’s health issues tend to go to therapy and/or see a counselor to talked about feelings that they aren’t able to share with the patient and the rest of the family. If the one on one communication does not work then family members join support groups to share what’s on their mind while listening to other people’s stories and or feelings to try to see if everyone can relate to one another . Support groups do not always have to be in person, if one is not ready to express their feelings to strangers in the room they can join support groups on the internet or even have discussions on the phone if they are not ready to express their feelings out in the open (“When Someone You” 18). “Families know state-of-the-art medical care is important,” says APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, an independent practitioner in Princeton, N.J. “What they often do not realize is that state-of-the-art psychological care is also available to ease the impact of cancer fears, procedures, side effects and treatment sequelae” (Clay). Conclusion In conclusion, family members follow the phases of cancer just as much as the patient. While cancer patients feel most of their pain physically, their loved ones feel it physically, psychologically, financially and emotionally. Family members are required to take on the role as the primary caregiver in which alters their complete lifestyle whether they are ready for it or not. The cost of cancer is far from inexpensive which leads to financial hardships for the family. Emotional run wild and anger is built up due to medical staff directly treating the patient or even upon other family members. It is very difficult for members of the family to live a stress free life because they have lost control and can’t find a balance. The impact that cancer has on the patient is almost as detrimental as the impact it has on the family.