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7 Worst Gifts for Chemo Patients (Avoid These!!)

This post has been verified by Ali Nowroozi

It is very important to know what the worst gifts for chemo patients are before you buy something that does more harm than good. While you may have good intentions it’s easy to make innocent mistakes. We got you covered with a list of things one should avoid buying cancer patients:


Worst Gifts for Chemo Patients:


1. Flowers

Can cancer patients have flowers

Can cancer patients have flowers?

We advise against buying cancer patients flowers. “Why no flowers for chemo patients?” You may ask. Because flowers and plants carry bacteria and pollens; combined with the lowered immune system due to chemotherapy and cancer, flowers carry an increased risk of infection. Additionally, some flowers have scents that may disturb chemo patients due to their increased sense of smell. Chemotherapy patients’ sense of smell is altered by the treatment, thus even a nice smell will upset them.

2. Food/Chocolate/Snacks

chocolate chip

Let’s start with food first. In and of itself buying chemo patients food or cooking for them is not a bad idea IF you know what their doctor advised them to eat and not to eat. There can be many ingredients, spices, and types of food that the patient should avoid so we advise against bringing them food until you are familiar with the list of foods they should avoid.

Chocolate and Snacks

Many cancer patients are instructed to avoid high amounts of sugar. If you are thinking of sugary snacks and chocolate make sure to check with them or their doctor to find out whether it is okay for the patient to consume such snacks.

3. Perfumes, Scents, Scented Items

perfumes and scents

As we have mentioned previously in our section about why buying flowers is a bad idea, chemo patients have an increased sense of smell, and any strong smell whether pleasant or unpleasant may cause nausea to the patient. Plus many perfumes have chemicals in them which may be too harsh on the sensitive skin of a chemo patient.

4. Alternative Treatments

We have gone into more detail in our blog about suggesting/buying alternative treatments in our what not to say to cancer patients. This is among the worst gifts for chemo patients. Not only does this put doubts in the patients’ minds about the process it also makes them believe in methods that have not been proven. Coupled with the taxing nature of chemotherapy it can persuade patients to give it up.


5. Tickets to outdoor activities


Whether it’s a concert, an invitation to an event, cinema, etc. While the patient may be interested in these, after chemotherapy or even surgery, they will not have the energy to go out, nor is it recommended for them to go out. With the lowered immune system and the taxing effects of chemo, it is best that the patients rest and avoid crowds as much as they can.

6. Wigs

fill in hair piece topper ellen wille 1

Buying a wig can be a commitment, especially if you don’t know whether the patient will want to use one or not. In addition, not all types of chemotherapy cause hair loss. Even if you know the patient is going to lose their hair there is no guarantee that they will use wigs or choose to cover their hair at all. Even though many people would assume that patients wish to conceal their shaved heads, it’s fairly normal to see cancer patients grow accustomed to the appearance within a day or two and prefer not to cover it. You can buy them a chemo sleep cap instead. These can be worn before bed to keep the head warm (chemo patients are sensitive to temperature) and are designed to be soft on the skin. They can even be worn during everyday activities if they wish. Even if they choose not to cover up their baldness in public, they can still use this cap to keep their head warm and comfortable right before bed.

7. Generic Get Well Cards

Cancer patients have to go through a lot, both mentally and physically. While you absolutely should show your support, generic cards that merely say “Get well soon” may come off as underwhelming. Although there isn’t much that can be said to completely comfort a patient, a cliched statement definitely falls short. Due to this, we advise against sending get well cards unless you have something genuinely sincere and meaningful to write on them. At Masumi, you may add a personalized gift card to your order, allowing you to personalize one of our pre-made cards with any message you choose.

We hope you found this article useful. You can also have a look at our other article for the best presents for cancer patients.


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