It is natural to feel angry when you have had cancer. Finding ways to help you relax and reduce stress can help.

Understanding anger

It is natural to feel angry when you have had cancer. You may feel angry about:

  • your diagnosis
  • having to make changes to your life because of cancer
  • going through treatment and having to cope with the side effects.

You may also resent other people for being well. These are normal reactions. They are more likely when you feel frightened, stressed or unwell. We all show anger in different ways. Some people get impatient or shout. Others get upset and tearful. Anger can hide other feelings, such as being sad or scared.

Coping with anger

It is important not to hide your feelings if you are angry or upset. It may help to tell people that you are angry about your situation and not at them.

Finding ways to help you relax and reduce stress can also help. This can include:

  • talking about or writing down how you feel
  • taking regular exercise
  • breathing or relaxation therapy.

Try not to feel guilty about your angry thoughts or irritable moods. Anger can be a strong emotion, and you may find you can use it in a more positive way. For example, it may:

  • help you focus on what is important in your life
  • give you the determination to start something new, like a hobby or challenge.

If you are angry most of the time or it is starting to affect your life, you may find it helpful to talk to a counsellor or psychologist. We have more information about the types of help available.

Different things work for different people, so you may need to try a few approaches to see what you find most helpful.

You can also use our Online Community to:

  • talk to people in our chat rooms
  • blog about your experiences
  • make friends
  • join support groups.

You can also call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm.

How we can help

Macmillan Grants

If you have cancer, you may be able to get a Macmillan Grant to help with the extra costs of cancer. Find out who can apply and how to access our grants.

Macmillan Telephone Buddies
With a weekly call from one of our trained Telephone Buddies, you don't have to face cancer alone.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
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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.
Help in your area
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.