An article on Caring4Cancerreports: “While connecting with other people is vital, sometimes connecting with a pet is just as good, or even better because it is so simple and easy.”

Because the stresses of cancer can feel overwhelming, so is the need for relief. That makes it even more important that patients don’t miss out any source of comfort they can find.

“For many people, pets are an incredibly important and meaningful source of unconditional love and affection,” continues the article.

“However helpful we find family and friends, at certain times our own loved ones can actually increase [our] stress, and pets can be a welcome antidote.”

Of course, a patient or family must always discuss contact with pets with their doctor before it occurs (and hospital and ward rules vary), but don’t automatically assume it’s forbidden. Nor should patients returning home presume their lives can no longer include the animals they love.

There are, however, rules and guidelines to follow to ensure safe exposure, so ask your care providers about these, and check online at places like Caring4Cancer and Petside.

An article on Petside confirms, “…This is certainly the case with Meredith Lamm-Ashton, who is currently fighting ovarian cancer. As part of her treatment, she undergoes vigorous chemotherapy, which makes her tired and groggy. But upon waking up from her therapy, she can always count on her five pets being by her side, planting slobbery kisses on her and giving her reassurance that they are there for her.”