Humorous Words of Encouragement for Cancer Patients

Your friend or loved one has cancer, and you want to give them some words of encouragement.

It can be difficult to come up with the right words to use in these situations, and often you just don’t know what to say.


You might be surprised to know that many cancer patients would prefer to hear some humorous words and have a laugh with you instead of hearing the same overthought overly-heartfelt response that everyone else has been telling them. 


Cancer doesn’t have to be depressing and lead to the same conversation over and over.  Instead, here are some funny and humorous words of encouragement that just might lighten the mood, and put a smile on their face so that you can enjoy your time together.


Humorous Yet Inspiring Words Of Encouragement For All Cancer Patients

Here are some humorous yet inspiring words of encouragement that you can use in different situations to both encourage and inspire the cancer patient, while still adding a bit of humor. Some of these aren’t for everyone but you’ll find at least one that works for you.

For those believing cancer to be their life - “Cancer is a word. Not a sentence.”

Here’s one for the patient who believes they’re broken - “Broken crayons still color.”

One for the patient who’s worried about not progressing or taking a step backward - “Hey, taking a step backward after taking a step forward isn’t a disaster, it’s more like a cha-cha.”

Words to a cancer patient you are close with - “Thoughts and prayers are great, but if you need some good drugs, I’m your guy!”

A somewhat darker joke for the patient with a strong sense of humor - “Well, they say laughter is the best medicine… Unless you have cancer, in which case chemotherapy is probably more effective.”

For the cancer patient worried about dying - “We’re all going to die someday. I could slip on a banana tomorrow and WHAM. That could be the end of me!”

An inspiring set of words - “Cancer can take away your physical abilities, but it will never touch your soul.”

Letting The Cancer Patient Know You’ll Be With Them Through Everything

Besides the words you say, what really encourages cancer patients is to know and believe that you will be with them not just after they beat the cancer, but while they are fighting through it. Here are some humorous words of encouragement that let them know you’ll be with them through everything.

Put a smile on their face with this one - “If you need someone to talk to, I’ll tell you all my bad jokes. Maybe some good ones. Probably just the bad ones. My point is I’ll be here to tell them.”

Invite yourself to do something with the patient - “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. What are we doing, today?”

Don’t just let the cancer patient know you’ll bring them food if they want any. Tell them very specifically that you will be joining them for dinner - “I’m not the best cook, and I might burn my house down while trying, but what do you want for dinner tonight? Can I join?”

And for the cancer patient who’s having a craving, it’s important that they eat, so let them know you’ll bring them whatever they want - “I’ve got my phone in my hand ready to call any restaurant you want. Let’s eat tonight. What are we having?”

Let them know you completely understand - “This/cancer sucks. I love you. I’m going to kick cancer’s ass with you. What should we do first?”

Tell the patient what you would do to cancer - “If I could rip that cancer from your body I would. But I’m not an exorcist. Let’s do something else instead.”

For the cancer patient who enjoys a good scoop or two of ice cream, call them on the phone - “Welcome to your favorite ice cream store. Can I take your order? Seriously, I’m here, what flavor do you want?”

Words That Tell The Cancer Patient To Not Give Up

Sometimes a cancer patient needs a humorous kick in the butt to keep them going. Sometimes a purely inspirational quote or saying will do, but what’s even better is to add your own humor to it. Here are a handful of words that tell the cancer patient to not give up.

When the patient says they are dying from cancer - “You’re not dying from cancer, you’re living with cancer. And one day you’ll be living without it.”

An inspiring set of words - “You have cancer. But cancer will never have YOU!”

Bring out the fighter in the patient - “Cancer may have started the fight, but you are going to finish it.”

Remind them of the guy who gave up - “Hey remember that guy who gave up? Neither does anyone else.”

For the patient who has been told they’re wrong or made a bad decision - “Whatever you decide, there’s always someone to tell you that you’re wrong. Screw that guy. You make your own decisions.”

Here’s one for the cancer patient who believes they are a failure - “I’ve failed plenty of times. Who cares? Fail again. Just try and fail a little bit better this time.”

Remind them about the time they’ll have with you after they beat cancer - “Don’t give up. Don’t you want to keep hearing my bad jokes and terrible stories?”

A Final Note About Using Humor For Encouragement

Just a little bit of humor can go a long way for a cancer patient. With the negative thoughts in their head and sometimes even negative words they hear from others, it might just be that one funny thing you said that brings a smile to their face in a time of despair.

Some of these words and sayings won’t work well for every person, so pick and choose what you think would bring a smile to their face. If there are a few words that would sound natural coming out of your mouth, say them.

It’s better to say the words than it is to wonder if they could have helped in some way. You don’t have to make them laugh every time you talk with them, but giving them even a little bit of joy during their rocky journey can bring hope and happiness into their life, even when you’re not there.

About the Author

When my best friend was diagnosed with Cancer, I wanted to give her a care package to let her know I was thinking of her. I was just guessing at what to include and I learned a lot about what can be both useful and meaningful to someone walking their cancer journey. My own frustration led me to start Help Them Fight to create a resource for others going through the same situation.