Understanding your diagnosis

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Finding out that you have cancer can be a shock, even if you already suspected it. There is no right or wrong way to feel, but it is important to understand what type of cancer you have.

If you are worried about what a diagnosis means for you or have any questions, you can speak with a Cancer Information Nurse Specialist. They can help by talking to you about your diagnosis and treatment, and give you information about the effects living with cancer and treatment may have on you.

You can contact a Cancer Information Nurse Specialists by:

  • Calling the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
  • Chatting online with a specialist using our webchat.
  • Emailing the Macmillan Support Line.
  • Asking a nurse any questions you may have on our Online Community. 

We can also help if you:

  • Would prefer to speak to us in another language
  • Are calling from outside the UK
  • Are deaf or hard of hearing

Visit the Macmillan Support Line page for more information.

Call us

Connect with others in our Online Community

If you would like to chat online with people going through a similar experience, you can join our Online Community.

Health professionals, trained volunteers and Macmillan staff in the Online Community can give you advice and tips to help you.

You can also:

Services you may find helpful

If you would like to have support with your physical or emotional health and well-being, there are many different in-person and online services which can help you.

Email support from diagnosis

If you sign up to receive regular trusted emails from us when you are diagnosed with cancer, we can:

  • offer you personalised information and support when you need it
  • help you cope with the health, money and emotional impacts cancer can bring
  • help you understand your diagnosis so you can ask the right questions about your treatment
  • give you up-to-date information about coronavirus (COVID-19) and cancer.

Find out more and sign up.

Boots Macmillan information pharmacists

If you have a Boots pharmacist nearby that you are able to access, you may not need to wait until your next hospital appointment to speak with a cancer specialist.

A Boots Macmillan information pharmacist can speak to you about your diagnosis to help you understand it further.

There are over 2,200 Boots Macmillan information pharmacists in Boots stores around the UK. They are pharmacists who have been specially trained to:

  • understand the different types of cancer and treatment
  • answer your questions about medication
  • listen to your concerns and provide emotional support
  • guide you to other sources of information and support
  • connect you to Macmillan services in your local area.

You can find out more about this here.

Macmillan Telephone Buddies

Living with cancer can be an isolating experience at any time. Our free Telephone Buddy service gives you a weekly call from one of our trained Telephone Buddies.

Your volunteer buddy will be a listening ear, ready to talk about how you’re feeling and support your needs during this difficult time.

SafeFit - well-being service

SafeFit is a free remote trial for anyone in the UK worried about or diagnosed with cancer. You will be put in contact with a cancer exercise specialist who will help you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

They offer advice, support and resources to maintain and improve physical and emotional well-being.

This includes information about preparing for and going through cancer treatment.

SafeFit is designed to:

  • provide you with exercise advice that you can do safely at home based on your needs 
  • help you find different and new ways to keep active and eat healthily
  • improve your overall well-being.

Find out more.

Apps and online services

The free mobile apps listed below are not provided by Macmillan, but they may help you to find other types of support while you are living with cancer. 

You may find these apps useful for tracking any symptoms you may have or side effects of treatment. This can help you with telling your healthcare team. 

Vine Health AppYou can download it from:

Untire AppYou can download it from:

Careology AppYou can download it from the App Store.

 Other services you may find helpful >

Information and resources

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