Being diagnosed with cancer means having to deal with issues and situations that may worry you and cause uncertainty.

Getting a diagnosis

Finding out that you have cancer can be a shock, even if you already suspected it. These days, many people are cured of cancer or are able to live with it for many years. But being diagnosed can still cause different fears and emotions. There is no right or wrong way to feel.

It is important to understand what type of cancer you have. If the cancer is advanced, we have more information to support you.

If you have been diagnosed, there are some common thoughts and concerns you may have:

  • Losing your independence – there are things you can do to prepare for treatment that will help you stay as independent as possible.
  • Family or friends treating you differently – it is important to remember that the people close to you are there to support you.
  • Money worries – there are lots of different options that can help you organise your finances.
  • Work – everyone who is diagnosed with cancer has certain rights in the workplace.
  • Making changes to your lifestyle – after a cancer diagnosis some people want to make changes to their lifestyle.
  • Uncertainty – not knowing what the future holds can be one of the hardest things to deal with when you are diagnosed with cancer.

It is natural to worry about these things and to be upset by them. It is fine to cry and say how you feel. But remember that help is available.

If you need to talk, we'll listen. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm.

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What happens next?

Depending on the type of cancer you have, you may need to wait for some time before your first appointment to discuss treatment. Or you may receive an appointment quite quickly. Usually, you will get a letter with the date of your first appointment. You may also receive a text message with details of your appointment.

This can be a very anxious and difficult time for you. You may be worried about telling people and about what treatment options you will have. You might choose to spend some time reading about the type of cancer you have, or you may prefer to wait until you see your cancer doctor. There is no correct way to feel or right thing to do.

You may need some time to understand what is happening. If you need support, you can contact our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00. They will be able to talk to you about what has happened and any worries you have.

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Diagnosis information and support via email

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with cancer, we can send you tailored and trusted information and support to help with the physical, financial and emotional effects of cancer.

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How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
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Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
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What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.