Bolton Macmillan Cancer Information & Support

Emotional Support

Benefits Advice

A diagnosis of cancer means you will have to deal with issues and situations that may be very frightening and challenging. Most people feel overwhelmed when they are told they or a loved one has cancer. There is no right or wrong way to feel- reactions vary and people have different emotions at different times. Some of the common feelings people have when they are affected by cancer include:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Avoidance
  • Anger
  • Guilt and blame
  • Feeling alone
  • Loss of control and independence
  • Loss of confidence
  • Sorrow and sadness
  • Withdrawal

When you're affected by cancer, it can help to talk about your hopes and fears. It's fine to worry about and be upset by them. And it's fine to cry and say how you are feeling when things get tough. You may find the idea of talking to family and friends upsetting or uncomfortable. Trying to put how you are feeling into words may feel overwhelming. But it can help you make the right decisions and feel supported. If you need to talk to someone about how you're feeling, we're here for you. We can provide emotional support through our drop-in service or via our helpline.

Another key part of the emotional support we offer is the delivery of the HOPE Course (Help Overcoming Problems Effectively). Please see our 'Life After Cancer' page for more information on the HOPE course.

Support Groups are also a key type of emotional support for people affected by cancer. Many people affected by cancer find the opportunity to share with others who have had a similar experience to be uplifting and encouraging. Please see our 'Local Support Groups' page for more information.