The best present of all list

Kathryn Malherbe shares some practical present ideas to gift a loved one going through breast cancer treatment.


It is difficult for family members, friends or loved ones to grasp the concept of someone they know diagnosed with breast cancer.

They offer condolences, support and lots of food for the fridge but few understand the true needs of a patient going through breast cancer treatment. So, below are some ideas for functional and helpful gifts. 

When in hospital

  • Comfy pyjamas
  • A scarf or headband
  • Crossword puzzles or favourite reading books.
  • A loose buttoned top for the post-surgical drainage pipes.

During chemotherapy

  • Ginger lozenges or ginger tea
  • Water bottles
  • Natural lip care products
  • Audio books
  • Blankets and socks
  • Healthy snacks to curb nausea

During radiation therapy

  • BioNike or E45 cream products for post-radiation side effects.
  • Electrolyte drinks, such as Rehidrat or diluted Energade.
  • A ride to and from the treatment facility.

After treatment

Above all of this, the best present of all that you can provide a loved one going through treatment is unwavering support and keeping in touch even after the treatment regime is over.

The hardest part of healing starts after the surgery, chemo and radiation therapy is done. Few people realise this. The moment all the fuss and doctors zooming around you ends, the fear and uncertainty starts. Now that it is over, what happens now?

Small tokens as these suggested lists can make a big difference in the recovery process.


Breast Cancer Support Pretoria runs a cancer care package project. If yourself, a family member, friend or work colleague has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, please get in touch with us. We are spreading the love with these care packages, which includes an informational booklet to help through treatment, with what to expect through each phase of the journey.


Kathryn Malherbe is a PHD researcher in the field of breast cancer imaging
as well as the director of Diagnostic Imaging Solutions. She currently
lectures at the University of Pretoria Health Sciences Faculty.

MEET OUR EXPERT – Kathryn Malherbe

Kathryn Malherbe is a PHD researcher in the field of breast cancer imaging as well as the director of Diagnostic Imaging Solutions. She currently lectures at the University of Pretoria Health Sciences Faculty.


5 Replies to “The best present of all list”

  1. Hi I finished radium treatment 2weeks ago. And started Tamoxafin this week. Any tips on helping the skin area heal sooner and how to get my energy levels up please.

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