Loneliness and isolation

It is common for people affected by cancer to feel lonely or isolated. These feelings can happen at any stage of the illness.

You might feel that no one understands what you are going through. Or that other people are trying to be so positive that you can’t say what you really feel. You may feel lonely even if you are surrounded by people close to you.

You may find that the less you talk about it, the more the cancer becomes all you think about, and the more alone you feel. Finding the courage to talk to just one person can be the first step towards helping you feel better.

Connect with people

Connecting with other people can help you feel less alone and help you manage your emotions. You can do this in many ways, including:

  • talking to family or friends
  • joining a self-help or support group
  • finding online support
  • speaking to healthcare professionals
  • contacting a support organisation.

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

If you feel you have no one to talk to, you can contact our cancer support specialists. You can also use our Online Community to:

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

We have more suggestions of positive steps to help yourself. We also have information on what you can do if you live alone.

Back to Dealing with your emotions

Cancer and your feelings

There is no right way to feel after a cancer diagnosis. You are likely to feel many different emotions.

Coping with depression

Depression can be difficult to recognise, so try not to ignore your feelings. Help is always available.