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Emotional Support

If you are affected by cancer, this may be a very difficult time for you and your loved ones. Talking it through can help you make sense of what is happening and cope with difficult feelings.

More about Emotional Support

If you, or someone you know, is affected by cancer, the experience can take its toll. Different people are affected in different ways, depending on their situation, their personality and how much support they have. But common reactions include fear, anxiety, anger, despair, grief and worry.

Some people find it helpful to talk things through with friends and loved ones. But others find it difficult to express their feelings to people who know them, and find it easier to talk to a professional, or to others going through a similar experience.

A range of organisations run services where you can share your feelings and feel listened to and understood. Some offer specialist support for people currently living with cancer, as well as for carers,cancer survivors, people at the end of their life and people who are bereaved. Others offer support that is suitable for anyone touched by cancer, whatever they are going through right now.

If everything feels like too much, talk to your cancer team too. They can refer you for extra support and may discuss options such as medication to ease low mood or anxiety.

Talking therapy
Counselling, psychotherapy and short-term psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help reduce anxiety and improve your mood. Sessions are usually one to one, but can also be for couples or family members.
Support groups
Support groups provide a shared space where you can come together with other people going through a similar experience, to gain understanding and belonging. Some groups are led by people who themselves have had cancer, while others are run by trained professionals.
Activity-based support groups
Activity-based support groups enable you to meet others with cancer through social activities, such as going out for dinner or camping trips with other families. Some find this a helpful way to develop a community of people with an understanding of what they have been through.
Web forums
Web forums are open to the public and are a space for sharing feelings or experiences for others. Much of the information will be written by other patients and carers, and may not be checked by professionals. A recent study found that information on web forums is usually of high or reasonably high quality, and extremely poor information is rare.