7 Breast Cancer Care Package Ideas to Show You Care

When you find out someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be wondering: What do I say? What can I do for them?

While there’s not often a clear answer to this question, one meaningful way you can show your support is by gifting a care package with a few helpful or thoughtful items.

We asked our community to share gift ideas for a loved one with breast cancer, and as usual, they came through. Keep reading to find care package ideas that show your loved one you’re thinking of them.

1. Books & Magazines

Gift your loved one some entertainment during treatment or long hospital stays. The books could be inspirational, puzzle or coloring books, or fiction to offer a welcome escape from reality. Get them an assortment of books and/or magazines you think they’d enjoy or ask a loved one of theirs what they’d like.

Idea: Consider having their friends and family sign a page in the book, so every time they open it, they see support.

“My cousin sent me this book, ‘My Grandfather’s Blessings,’ written by a pediatrician who had cancer. It was very soothing.”

Lauren L.

“The best gift I gave to my friend Nancy while she battled cancer…a personalized journal for her two young daughters. She said it was therapeutic and made her feel like she really left something wonderful for her girls.”

Andrea T.

2. A Handwritten Card

A handwritten card has a place in most care packages, and this is no exception. It’s just plain sweet to receive a card that’s been written by hand.

You can choose a card that’s humorous, religious or heartfelt depending on what your loved one would enjoy. And if you’re unsure what to write, try one of these quotes about hope and healing to spark some inspiration.

“I LOVED getting funny cards, or just thinking of you cards in the mail- always brightened my day.”


“I’ve been sending a lot of cool cards, and using the Violet Flame for sending healing.”

Holly H.

3. Practical Items

It’s common to shy away from gifting something “practical” or “sensible,” but in reality these gifts are sometimes the most thoughtful (and necessary!) Giving practical items can also show that you’re working to empathize and anticipate their needs.

This could include anything from lip balms (for chapped lips from treatment) to a personalized water bottle to remind them to stay hydrated. Our community shared a few more great ideas:

“I just got diagnosed with colon cancer last week and a good friend whose son was diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago (doing well!) sent me a care package of a large, easy-to-use 7-day am/pm pill case, 2 good quality pill splitters, a pretty basket for meds, a heavy duty folder with 3 ring binder clips for appointment info and a faux leather tote. (She had asked me the colors in my kitchen for the basket and favorite color for the folder and tote.) It made me cry because it was so thoughtful, practical, and very much took some ‘to-dos’ off my list of things to find.”


“The hospital where I began my chemo treatments gives out ‘chemo bags’ filled with things one can use during chemo- a soft throw, notebook, pen, puzzle books, lotion, tissues, hard candies, a small bottle of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, a pocket calendar, etc. A local church group makes them up for chemo patients. They’re filled with useful things one needs when sitting for two or three hours for chemo infusions.”

Sandra G.

“A chemo port t-shirt with zipper closures on both sides of the front for easy access to the port (and it’s pink), as well as drops to suck on for nausea, and cream to support the skin.”

Kay R.

4. Homemade Crafts

We all can appreciate a homemade present – it shows someone cared enough to make your gift by hand. That takes time, and time shows love.

“I love to give little gifts to my family and friends, especially those who were coping with cancer. I ordered ‘Cancer Awareness’ fabric on the internet and asked a friend to make potholders from this material. Also, I designed a little Garden Girl Stake with a little dress of cancer ribbons to be inserted into a potted plant. Cancer awareness fabric bookmarks was another craft. Every one of my friends greatly appreciated my little gifts. Even if one does not knit, crochet, or sew, you still can create other little gifts. A friend of mine makes kitchen scrubbies and I added a little note that said, ‘Scrub your worries away.'”

Mary E.J.

5. Head Coverings

Your loved one may lose their hair during therapy treatments. Head coverings like cotton or silk scarves can help cover and soothe their dry skin, and also add a bit of flare to their daily routine. Silk pillowcases are also a great addition to help them feel more comfortable at night.

“One of the most thoughtful gifts during my treatment was several lightweight cotton head coverings to keep my head warm when I lost my hair. They were quick to put on when I had visitors, and washable.”


6. Post Surgery Clothing

Help your loved one prepare for a mastectomy or other treatments by providing them with post-surgery clothing. Breast cancer patients often need specialized clothing after a surgery that is loose fitting and accommodates their surgical drains.

Post-mastectomy clothing is designed for comfort and can be worn post-surgery, or anywhere around the house. This can take one step off of your loved one’s to do list when it comes to preparing for surgery.

7. Healthy Snacks

It’s hard to go wrong when gifting a tasty, healthy snack. Treat your loved one to some local seasonal fruit, granola bars, trail mix, popcorn, or cereals.

“One of the nicest gifts given during a protracted hospital stay- a pretty homemade fruit basket for the nurses station. Cut 8″ squares of colored tissue and place each washed piece of fruit in a square before placing in the basket. Medical personnel came to understand that this was a very precious person in their care.”

Sheila C.

“Recently we bought fruit for a cancer patient. Oranges, sweet and juicy, made her smile.”

Virginia T.

What are Your Gift Ideas?

If you or someone you know has fought breast cancer, what is the most meaningful gift you’ve given or received? Please feel free to share your ideas and stories in the comments below.

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  • Mary Muduuli

    This is so useful and inspiring, really appreciated all these great ideas. Thank you

  • K. S.

    One of my go-to gifts is Smooth Move tea. I have had several friends/family who have experienced constipation during cancer treatments and this tea was helpful.

  • Iris J.

    Rather than sending a gift that reflects what we – or another BC patient – found helpful – I suggest a gift card with a thoughtful note, e.g. “I want to give you the perfect gift that fits with what will help you and/or cheer you right now. So I am giving you this gift card for YOU to choose exactly what you would love to have.”

  • Liz Coyle

    I founded Quiltlove, which makes quilts that featuring artwork and messages of support from family and friends, for just this reason. They are such a personal way to wrap someone in love and make ideal group gifts. Thanks for sharing! http://www.givequiltlove.com

  • Anonymous

    2 electric throws to cover up and keep warm. 1 for home and 1 plugs into my car. I can always be warm 🙂

  • Linda Risser

    Foot soak for feet during chemo ,ginger chews for nausea.wit homemade soups , breads and a sleep mask for taking naps in the afternoon after chemo and radiation!

  • Marilyn Martinez

    Trail mix, Snapple, single quilt. The patient sometimes has no appetite or can’t eat because of upcoming procedures. The caregiver appreciates support and I believe the patient is glad they’re supported.

  • Sonja Dotson

    When I was being treated for breast cancer, a friend gifted me natural deodorant, Arm and Hammer Essentials. No aluminum, parabens, colorants or animal-derived ingredients. It has been almost 10 years since the diagnosis, I continue to use this brand and now I give to others with a breast cancer diagnosis as well.

    Before the diagnosis, I was not concerned about natural ingredients, but the experience has raised awareness and now I am concerned about ingredients and prefer more natural products. Including less processed foods and drinks.

  • RJP

    I found a company called Rock The Treatment that creates BEAUTIFUL, thoughtful, amazing boxes/baskets FULL of useful items (nausea drops, lotion, socks, hat, adult coloring book, peppermint tea, etc. “to help ease the nausea of chemotherapy, nourish the skin, keep the mind occupied during treatment, boost the immune system or just plain relax”). It was so beautiful and so useful that it made my sister-in-law so excited to open it and see all that was inside. She absolutely loved everything in it. https://www.rockthetreatment.com/womens-large-chemo-basket/

  • Vicki dischner

    I need head coverings for a group of patients. Where is an easy pattern or where can i get some.

  • Jeannie (C J) King

    From my experience of having breast cancer, I know these are meaningful, thoughtful ways of support. Thank you for this helpful article!