Informal carers are people who provide care without a specific professional role. They provide diverse caregiving supports including disease-related problems, side effects of treatment and psychosocial impacts. This paper reports on a comprehensive review of caregiving literature, focusing specifically on cancer caregivers. The paper presents five observations drawn from the literature in order to make recommendations about how caregivers of people with advanced cancer can best be supported. The observations are: 1) caregivers are a heterogeneous group; 2) they have unique needs that differ to the patient; 3) their role includes more than attending to physical caregiving tasks; 4) they may feel unable to take a break from the role and 5) they need their own support which may be beneficial to their capacity to continue in the caregiving role. Recommendations for how health professionals can assist in supporting caregivers in their role are discussed.