When someone close to you finds out they have cancer, you probably want to be there for them but you might not know how you can help. There are practical things you can do to support them – whether you’re their partner, relative, friend or carer.
You might also find it helpful to read our information to help you talk to someone who has cancer.
- Visit them – especially if they live on their own or you’re worried they’re feeling isolated.
- Make them a cup of tea and just listen.
- Watch TV or a DVD together to take their mind off things.
- If you can’t be there in person, just call or write to them to say you’re thinking of them.
- If they’re not already in contact with Macmillan, suggest that they contact us to find out how we can support them.
Be there for hospital appointments
- Help plan for appointments – what questions do they have and what do they want to say? Write it down for them to take along on the day.
- Offer to go with them for support and to talk things through.
- Give them a lift – especially if they’re having a test or scan.
- During the appointment, write the important things down.
Be there between appointments
- They might find it helps to organise the information they’ve been given and to keep track of things like their symptoms and mood. You could order your friend or relative a free Macmillan Organiser from be.macmillan.org.uk The organiser is also available as an app.
- Having more information helps some people feel more in control. We have more information to help you understand cancer and its treatments. But remember that some people don’t want to know all the details and prefer to leave everything to their doctors.