World Cancer Day 4 February 2017

We're here today and every day.

Macmillan is here on World Cancer Day and all year round, supporting people whose lives are affected by cancer and part of our mission is to help you to be there too. 

As more people live longer with cancer and more of us experience cancer, most people will now know someone with cancer - whether they're a colleague, family member or friend - and lots of us admit to finding it difficult to support friends living with cancer.
Many people say they struggle to understand what a friend with cancer is going through, don't know what to say when they hear the news, and worry what they do say might be upsetting. We also know that lots of people find being supportive too upsetting in itself.

But cancer can be one of the hardest experiences a person will go through, and simply being there for someone can make such a difference. 

We are here on World Cancer Day, and every day in between, to answer questions on all sorts of ways that cancer can affect your life. Or if someone simply wants to talk, then we can listen. Our Support Line and Online Community offer a safe space for people to speak about cancer in a way that suits them.

Watch the BBC's video, 'Things not to say to someone with cancer,' or follow one of the suggestions below of small things you can do today to make a big difference to someone's life.

Mingled with the uncertainty, the fear and the loneliness that cancer can bring, I had an amazing support network around me and I had some really good times. Without these positive people around me I wouldn’t have survived this experience in the way I have.

Jenna, 22, Essex

Ways you can be there for someone with cancer:

Volunteer Buddy Murray sits on a chair in a hospital.

Become a Buddy

From becoming a Buddy or Walk Leader, to supporting people in an Information and Support centre, volunteering your time is a fantastic way of extending a friendly hand to others and brightening someone's day.

Make a pledge

Tweet how you’re going to be there for someone with cancer - on World Cancer Day and every day in between. Mention @macmillancancer and use #WorldCancerDay and we’ll select and share our favourite ones.

Macmillan Nurse Shez speaks to another woman in a hospital.


Why not donate a small amount to make a big difference to someone's life? With your help nurses like Shez can be there for more people with cancer.

Need inspiration?

We've got some great tips for you from the Online Community. Read our blog post about the ways you can be there for someone with cancer.

Stories about reaching out to friends

Claire walks in the park.


'I went to the bar and when I turned around to go back, all my friends were sat there with bald caps on!'

Vivek hugs his mum.


'I feel so much luckier that I’ve got a core group of people that I actually care about and who really care about me.'

Rocio sits and thinks.


'Just be there. And if the person doesn't answer the phone, call them again.'

Gary smiles sitting on a couch indoors.


'The one thing I could do was watch movies, and the one person I knew who'd be insane enough to sit through them with me was Mike.'