Finding out that someone you care about has cancer can leave you feeling helpless. You might be worried about what to say or how to help. But it’s easier than you think. You might be a relative, friend, colleague or neighbour. You might live near your loved one, or on the other side of the world. Whatever your situation, we can help you support them.

A lot of people want to help their friend or relative, but feel anxious about the best thing to do. They worry that they’ll get in the way, or that they won’t be able to cope with seeing their loved one looking unwell.

People also worry about what to say. They're scared they won’t be able to find the right words, or that they’ll say something that will make the situation worse.

But Macmillan isn’t just here to support the person with cancer; we’re here to support you too. We have information and resources just for you, and we can help assure you that you won’t say or do the wrong thing. No one should face cancer alone, and with your help your loved one won’t have to.


We've got a brand new resource called Be there for someone facing cancer. It gives you practical tips on how you can support your friend or relative, and it suggests ways you can talk to them about what they're going through. It also takes you through the cancer journey, so that you can learn about what they're dealing with and feel confident asking them about it.

To order your free copy, text FREE1 to 70550*. Or you can order a free copy online.

We also have a resource called Lost for words - how to talk to someone with cancer. This has more information about how to support your friend or relative by talking and listening to them.

You can either order a free copy of the booklet, or you can read the information online.


It can be very frightening when a friend or relative is diagnosed with cancer, and it’s important to remember that you may need support too.

Whether you have questions about cancer or just want to chat to someone, our cancer support specialists are here for you. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00, Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm.

Our Online Community is also here for you round the clock. You can use it to share experiences, ask questions, or get and give support.

* Texts are charged at standard network rate. You will receive a phone call so we can obtain your address details and dispatch your free guide. Obtain bill payer’s permission first.

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