Talking Cancer podcast

Macmillan has launched the Talking Cancer podcast to be right there with the growing number of people living with and affected by cancer.

Hosted by Magic Radio DJ and Macmillan supporter Emma B, Talking Cancer covers important topics from diagnosis and treatment to end of life and living with cancer. In each episode Emma has honest conversations with people about their experiences, followed by a chat with Macmillan professional Dany Bell who shares advice and information to help listeners find their best way through.

We have now also teamed up with our friends at Boots, to bring you a special coronavirus series of Talking Cancer, in which Emma B speaks to experts to address some of your most common concerns around living with cancer during a global pandemic. You can also find guidance on Macmillan’s coronavirus hub.

Subscribe to Talking Cancer on your preferred podcast platform from your mobile phone. You can also access the podcast from your desktop on Apple or Spotify.

Scroll through the latest episodes below.

Series 1

Series 1 Episode 1: Diagnosis

Emma B has a cuppa with Chloe, who talks about how she dealt with her leukaemia diagnosis as a new mum. Plus, Emma chats to Macmillan professional Dany about common worries and questions when being diagnosed with cancer.

Download the transcript of episode 1..

For more information and support, or if you’ve been affected by a cancer diagnosis, visit Macmillan’s diagnosis webpage.

'Once you hear the C-word you think, oh… this isn’t good'

Chloe, diagnosed with leukaemia

Series 1 Episode 2: Treatable but not curable cancer

Emma B meets Adam, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour during a work trip to New York and is now living with a treatable but not curable cancer. Plus, Emma asks Macmillan professional Dany helpful questions on what living with this type of cancer means for people.

Download the transcript of episode 2..

For more information and support about treatable but not curable cancer, visit Macmillan’s treatable but not curable cancer page.

'I’ll manage it for the rest of my life, it doesn’t matter how long it is'

Adam, diagnosed with a brain tumour

Series 1 Episode 3: Life after cancer

When visiting the doctor about his snoring, Errol happened to pick up a prostate cancer leaflet that led to his diagnosis. After 10 years in remission, Errol talks to Emma B about how he’s made it his life’s work to educate men about prostate cancer, as well as touching on the side effects of a cancer some consider a taboo. Plus, Emma and Macmillan professional Dany discuss practical advice for what to expect after being told ‘you’re in remission’.

Download the transcript of episode 3.

For more information and support about treatable but not curable cancer, visit Macmillan’s after treatment page .

Series 1 Episode 4: End of Life

Just over a year ago Max’s mum, Nand, died from breast and sarcoma cancer. Emma and Max talk through his family’s experience of end of life, how they ‘pre-grieved’ for their mum and planned her funeral together. Later in the episode, Emma reflects on Max’s story with Macmillan professional Dany, who shares practical and emotional advice for dealing with the end of someone’s life.

*This episode contains content which may be upsetting for some listeners*.

If you have been affected by the sensitive topics we’ve discussed in this episode, please contact our Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, or for more information and support about end of life, visit Macmillan’s end of life page.

Series 1 Episode 5: Work and Cancer

Having had six cancer diagnoses across 30 years due to a hereditary gene, Helen has a lot of stories of her personal experience to share, especially on the topics of work, career and finances. For expert advice on these issues, Emma and Dany are joined by special guest and Macmillan Work & Cancer expert, Liz, who shares guidance on approaching tricky conversations with employers and how to navigate the world of work after a cancer diagnosis.

Further information on the topics mentioned in this episode, can be found via the below:

  • Find more information on your rights at work if you have been diagnosed with cancer, or call our Work Support Service free on 0808 808 00 00 to speak to our advisors. *Please note that the disabilities act referred to in the episode is now called The Equality Act in England, Scotland or Wales or The Disability Discrimination Act in Northern Ireland – find more information about cancer and employment rights
  • If you are an employer, and want to feel more confident and equipped in supporting staff affected by cancer, sign up to Macmillan at Work for a free toolkit and access to information about workplace training for your HR team and line managers.
  • Find online support for financial issues, or call our Financial Guidance helpline on 0808 808 00 00
  • Find more information about hereditary conditions.
  • For information about cancer and religion, you may find it helpful to join the Religion, Spirituality and Prayer Group on Macmillan’s online community

If you have any concerns or questions about how the current coronavirus situation may affect your employment and finances you can speak to someone on our support line on 0808 808 00 00 or read our information on your rights at work.

Series 1 Episode 6: Treatment

Just after turning 40, nurse Ben was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. He talks openly to Emma about losing his beloved quiff and the other side effects that come with cancer treatment, as well as how he keeps a positive outlook and continues to enjoy food. Emma also welcomes back Macmillan professional Dany, who sheds some light on treatment options and how best to cope.

For more information and support about cancer treatment, visit Macmillan’s treatment page.

Series 2

Series 2 Episode 1: Cancer and The New Normal

Emma B catches up with Macmillan’s Chief Medical Officer, Rosie Loftus, and Boots’ Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan, to talk about the services available and practical advice you’ll need to navigate this ‘new normal’ of Covid-19 with cancer. Plus, we hear from Ruth, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during the Coronavirus lockdown, as she shares her tips for attending appointments on your own.

For more information and support about cancer and coronavirus, visit our coronavirus hub.

Series 2 Episode 2: How is coronavirus affecting your mental health?

In the strange times we find ourselves living in, Emma B catches up with a familiar face from Series 1 – Macmillan’s Strategic Advisor for Treatment, Dany Bell. Emma and Dany discuss the impact of the pandemic on our mental health, including how to spot the signs if you or a loved one are struggling and what support is out there. We also hear from Carole, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last December and found out earlier this year that the cancer had spread to her bones. She offers some advice for managing anxieties around potential delays to treatment.

For more information and support, visit Macmillan’s webpage on getting help with your emotions. You can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm, for more information.

Series 2 Episode 3: Coronavirus, work and cancer

In this episode, Emma B is joined by Macmillan’s Work & Cancer expert, Liz Egan. Tune in to hear more about your rights at work during the pandemic, which ‘reasonable adjustments’ you can ask your employer to make to allow you to continue working, the options available as the furlough scheme comes to an end, and guidance for anybody out there who might have been made redundant. 

Richard, who was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2018, also shares his advice on the steps you can take if you’re working in the pandemic while living with cancer.

For more information about work and cancer more generally, why not listen back to Episode 5 from Series 1? Alternatively, you can visit the Macmillan website to find more information on work and coronavirus if you have been diagnosed with cancer, or call our Work Support Service free on 0808 808 00 00 to speak to Macmillan’s specially trained advisors, Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm.

Series 2 Episode 4: Practical support and how to access it

In this episode, Emma B is joined again by Macmillan’s chief medical officer Dr Rosie Loftus and Boots’ Chief Pharmacist, Marc Donovan, to discuss all the practical support available to people with cancer during the pandemic and how to access it. The professionals also talk about the latest government guidance and what this means in practice for those clinically vulnerable.

Mandy, who lives with treatable but not curable breast cancer, also shares her words of wisdom for handling cancer treatment and shielding during the ongoing pandemic.

For further information and support about practical issues, visit our coronavirus hub. You can also call the Macmillan Support Line. on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm for more information.