12 Great Gift Ideas For Cancer Patients

Check out some thoughtful and practical gift ideas to send to a cancer patient this holiday season. These gifts will not only make their treatment easier but will also remind them how much they are loved.

See our most recent compilation of gift ideas and products for cancer patients during and after treatment.

When a loved one gets cancer, it's hard to find the right words to say, let alone the right things to give to them during this time. The gifts ideas below are all designed to make the cancer experience easier for everyone involved, no matter what type of cancer the patient is faced with.

Adult Coloring Books

What better way to unwind then to spend some time with one of our favorite childhood hobbies, but with an adult spin: an adult coloring book. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Secret Garden: This was one of the first adult coloring books to hit the market, and is one of Amazon's best selling books. It's no surprise why - it is so easy to get lost in Johanna Basford's beautiful illustrations. 
  • Maybe Swearing Will Help: This is the perfect adult coloring book for those with a sense of humor and a bit of a foul mouth. This adult coloring book features funny pages with quotes of motivation, puns, and cursing for anyone to calm down with. 
  • I Am A Cancer Warrior: A coloring book filled with powerful mantras - all of which are motivational, encouraging and empowering sayings and affirmations specifically for those fighting cancer. 

Treatment Journals

Cancer isn't in any of our plans. But when it happens, it's very helpful to have something that lets us start planning for how to get rid of it. There are a few different products currently on the market that can help.

  • CanPlan is a one-of-a-kind planner designed specifically for cancer patients and their caregivers. It provides daily reminders, guidelines for positive living, and much more. 
  • Cancer Planner journals help you keep you track of your treatments, doctor's appointments, and general busy life.

Both of these planners help you and your caregiver gain control over cancer and give you the ability to efficiently track your progress and to see just how your emotions, diet, exercise, expenses, medications, and symptoms change across periods. This documentation is also useful for spotting any adverse side effects and their potential causes.

Survivor Memoirs

Only other people have been through it will truly understand what a cancer diagnosis really means. Luckily, there are many survivors who have turned their experiences into honest, humorous and helpful books. From learning how to tell other people about a diagnosis, to deciding what lifestyle changes to make, these authors cover it all. Not only will these books distract your loved one from their treatment, but they will help them realize that they are not alone.

IHC Team Suggestions:


If your loved one isn't up to reading a book (this may be the result of lights causing visual fatigue) the gift of an audiobook may be the perfect option.

GoodReads has provided a hearty list of The Best Audio Books Ever and we've listed a few of our favorite well-known titles, available in the Kindle store, here:

If you're not sure if your loved one would like audiobooks, consider suggesting that they try Amazon Kindle's Unlimited 30-Day Free Trial first.

Funny Movies or TV Shows

We all love a good movie or tv show, especially when we can binge it with our loved ones. Consider gifting your loved one a Netflix Subscription or putting one of the classic holiday films in their stocking this year. Here are our holiday suggestions:

  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
  • Home Alone
  • A Christmas Story

Browse more holiday classics here.

3 Functional & Fashionable Clothing

There are a lot of things about being a cancer patient that can be uncomfortable, and, at times, awkward. Clothing is at the top of that list for many people. Whether it is trying to find a shirt that works with your port, or lingerie that's designed for women with reconstruction, or just wanting a t-shirt that's inspirational, here are a few of our favorite functional and fashionable clothing options:

  • Chemo Shirts: These shirts allow patients to keep their clothes on while providing nurses and doctors the access they need to administer medicine. 
  • AnaOno: Lingerie and apparel for women who've had a mastectomy, breast reconstruction or breast surgery. Bras for breast cancer. Radiation wear. Recovery wear. 
  • Care + Wear: These PICC line covers help eliminate some of the challenges of having a PICC line by making it easier to securely cover the line without having to worry about exposure to outside agents or low quality materials. Their motto: Let’s get back to living! 
  • DryProIf you’re concerned about how you will bathe, swim, or come into contact with water at any point while fighting cancer, waterproof body protectors are a great investment. Dry Pro’s protectors are latex free and contain a vacuum seal that prevents it from being pulled off. The Dry Pro protector can be used daily for months, is durable and reusable, and open on both ends to keep hands free. 
  • Headbands of Hope: The high quality, stylish headbands range in price from $14.85 for a simple floral design to $200 for one studded with Swarovski crystals. To make it even better, for every headband purchased, one is given to a girl with cancer and $1 is donated to fund childhood cancer research.
  • Live With Hope Cap: These caps in pink and red with the message "Live with Hope" are a special reminder to give someone you care for who may now have a reason to wear a baseball cap.
  • Chemo Brain is Frustrating shirt: We asked our community to tell us what they want the world to know about chemo brain (also known as chemo fog), and the response was so strong that we turned one of the messages into a shirt.

Gifts That Help With Treatment & Recovery

Not everyone will want a cancer-related gift, but for those who are currently in the midst of treatment, giving them something that is practical and can really help with recovery - but that they wouldn't buy for themselves - may be exactly what they truly need. Here are a few great ideas:

  • Natural Hot & Cold Therapy Pack: Pamper and soothe achy body parts with this natural hot & cold therapy pack. Zap in the microwave and use as a heated neck wrap or to warm up on a cold night. Perfect post surgery or post workout, for back pain, neck pain, labor pains, arthritis, shoulder pain and sports injuries. 
  • LympheDIVAs Arm Sleeve: LympheDivas is compression arm sleeves and gauntlets in beautiful bright colors and fashionable patterns. Each compression armsleeve is seamlessly knit from moisture wicking fibers to keep your arm dry and comfortable. 
  • Survivor Eyes: Designed by a cancer survivor, this product s intended to boost your confidence and enhance your look after experiencing hair loss. The kit includes eyebrow stencils, applicator brush, and instructions to help you find what looks best on your face. It’s not just limited to ladies- they have a product specifically for men's’ brows coming out as well. Everyone should look the way they want and feel okay despite hair loss. 
  • 'The Chest Buddy' Seatbelt Protector: There are a lot of little issues that a patient can never predict - one of them is the pain of a seatbelt when it rests against a port. These seatbelt protectors from The Chest Buddy are designed for relief - simply detach the hook and loop, put around the seatbelt in desired area, and reattach for a relaxed ride.

Safer Cosmetics
May cosmetic products are ridden with parabens, phthalates, triclosam and many other dangerous chemicals that cancer fighters should stay away from. Surprise your loved one with healthier alternatives, such as:

  • Violets Are Blue Skincare
    This skincare line is made up of unscented, natural products designed to alleviate these skin issues. They can be purchased individually or in a gift set, and arrive beautifully packaged in eco-friendly materials. 
  • Vanicream Deodorant: Natural deodorant formulas that have no aluminum, parabens, phthalates, artificial preservatives or fragrances.
  • Tarte Cosmetics Makeup, skincare and beauty products made with high-performance naturals. Cruelty-free and eco-friendly makeup.


These cookbooks are written by IHadCancer community members who share tips and tricks for getting through treatment on a full stomach--or whatever you can get down that day. It is the perfect gift to help them use real food to fight cancer. It is filled with great recipes and health tips that are vital for any cancer fighter, survivor or supporter at any stage.

Click on the authors' profiles to see their recipes posted on IHadCancer.

Savor Health Gift Certificate

For those who are not up for cooking themselves, that's where Savor Health comes in. Not only may your loved one's energy level be lower than usual, but they also have new dietary restrictions and the effects of chemo may have altered their sense of taste. Savor Health aims to make the act of eating a healthy meal easy again. They provide nutritious, delicious meals that are fresh and customized to specific needs and tastes.

Purchase a gift certificate for your loved one and they will receive weekly shipments of nutritious, customized meals delivered to their door as well as nutrition information and guidance. Learn more or purchase now.

Occasional Cleaning Service

In the middle of a mortal battle the last thing you have energy for is cleaning the toilet. Fortunately, there are organizations who have identified this problem and are willing to lend a helpful mop. One of the leaders in this clean movement is Cleaning For a Reason , a nonprofit serving in the US and Canada who offers free house cleaning once a month for four consecutive months to women currently undergoing treatment.

Love and Time

When it comes down to it, the best gift is always free: give your loved one your love, time and attention. Spend a couple of hours watching a funny movie together, going for a walk, or simply sitting and enjoying each other's company.

It is never too late to give a thoughtful, caring and helpful gift to a cancer fighter. We have also compiled a list of products that are intended to help treat side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. You can find those items here: Gifts To Treat Side Effects. Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments below.

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