Cancer and Anxiety

Cancer and Anxiety

Both bowel and testicular cancer awareness months happen in April. Whilst cancer diagnoses can vary hugely, the feelings and emotional experiences can sometimes be similar.

In today’s Community News Blog, we are talking about cancer and anxiety. Whether it be anxiety around physical symptoms, concerns about upcoming cancer treatment, or even anxiety you can’t quite ‘label’ -  we are here to talk about it all.

Where to Start

"I just seem to have no bounce. No urgency in myself. I’ve lost something within." Online Community member.

A cancer experience can impact your confidence and of course bring a lot of stress. Cancer treatment, and it’s side effects, can impact mental health. Whether you have a diagnosed anxiety disorder or not, we know from our members how hard it can be to ‘find a new normal’ after cancer.

"I’ve always had anxiety all my life. But before the cancer I would just get on with things and not let it stop me. Now I have lost that." Online Community member.

It can be anxiety around physical symptoms of cancer, or trying to distinguish between symptoms of anxiety and those related to cancer. The Online Community is here for you to find and connect with others who might know how you feel. Hopefully to start to help you feel a little better. We want to help improve the quality of life for people affected by cancer. Mental health and wellbeing is a big part of that.

If you are not sure where to start, or prefer to talk things through over the phone, why not chat to one of our Support Line advisers.

They’re available 7 days a week, 8am till 8pm. You can chat over the phone or on webchat. They are even available by email. There are many different departments offering everything from emotional and practical support, to financial guidance. We even have Cancer Information Nurse Specialists who can deal with medical queries.

Further information and contact details are available on the Support Line guidance page.

Anxiety and Cancer

We understand that anxiety can be a part of daily life for many people affected by cancer.

"I really struggle with anxiety even before the cancer. I also have my year check in a few weeks which I am struggling with. I already think I am going to have a panic attack and not be able to go. Online Community member.

I just wondered if anyone else had the same feelings." Online Community member.

It is common for us to see members share feelings around the mental challenges of dealing with stress or anxiety.

"Sometimes I get panicky it’s frightening to think of our future. But I am trying to concentrate on what we can do not what we can’t and I’m trying to make the most of just the little things. But it’s not easy

it helps to chat here it’s a good place for support." Online Community member.

Whilst no one approach is right for everyone, hopefully sharing your feelings in a safe and anonymous space can be the start of finding a path to feeling better.

"Being part of this group definitely helps, I don't feel like I'm going crazy and it's helping me talk about how I am feeling." Online Community member.

Our online support groups can act as a place you can share, and find comfort, however you are feeling.

Shared Journeys

It is important to realise and remember that you are not alone in how you feel. Whilst your diagnosis or personal cancer journey is truly individual, the difficult feelings and mental challenges may be something shared by many others.

Why not start a conversation on the Online Community and see if you can find comfort in talking to people in similar circumstances.

We have an Emotional support forum on the Community too. It’s a space you can share openly about your feelings in a safe and anonymous way.

"Today I can't stop crying. I've taken the rest of the week off work. Just wondering what advice people have to offer about dealing with the emotional side." Online Community member.

Cancer and anxiety can be overwhelming. On the Online Community, no topic is off limits. Difficult emotions are a part of dealing with cancer and we are here to help.

With the right support, and the time and things needed that help you, we often see members starting to feel better.

"I am feeling so much better in myself and had such a lovely day yesterday catching up with family and eating lunch in the sun! I felt almost normal! Tired at night but it’s amazing the difference a week can make!

Thank you for your ongoing support everyone xxx" Online Community member.

"Thank you so much to everyone who has replied.  Every bit of information and encouragement is really helpful."  Online Community member.

"Thank you so much for your reply made me feel tons better. I will keep you updated hope you are well xxx" Online Community member.

Whether you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed, unsure or fearful; The Online Community is here through it all.

By sharing their journeys' openly and honestly, our members support each other every day. 
We hope you find this useful and mostly we hope we continue to act as a beacon for those in need, to share and find support.

If you ever feel your anxiety or stress is becoming
unmanageable, it's important to contact your GP and tell them how you feel so they can help. The NHS 111 service is also available, 24 hours a day - 7 days a week, if you need help or advice in assessing your situation. 

Any feedback, comments or concerns, are welcome below or by email at anytime. 

  • Diagnosed t4 small cell lung cancer and a bit spread to liver. Had my first cheomo session 29th march. Nearly finished the tablet doggy bag they give. Still feel rough from chemo. Start the self vaccinations do they make you feel any better or word

  • Hi ,

    Thank you for your comment and welcome to the Online Community. Hopefully you are finding it to be a kind and supportive space.

    I’m sorry to read of your diagnosis. For your question around self vaccinations, the best thing to do would be to speak to one of our Cancer Information Nurse Specialists.

    Aside from all the options on the page linked above, you can also ask them a question directly on the Online Community. It’s our Ask a Nurse section and it’s open Monday to Friday, 9am till 5pm.

    Hopefully this helps you find the answers you are looking for. If you have any further questions for us on the Community Team, you can reply directly here or email us at anytime.

    Kindest Regards,

    Macmillan Community Team

  • Hi! When you say self-vaccination, I wonder if you mean the one in your tum? I had to do that after every chemo session. It made me a bit doddery and sometimes pain in lower back or top of legs, but once I was told it was to promote blood cell growth, then I was quite ok to put up with it as a temporary nuisance. 

    Hope all goes well for you! 


  • My wife was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer nearly 2 years ago she has gone through 4 different chemos and is now on a specialzed chemo at Bart’s in London I’ve worked continuously through lockdown and tried to keep the household going on my own also caring for my 11 year old son recently lost my mum to liver cancer them seeing my wife go through a bad reaction to her treatment feeling pretty low at the minute worrying about my work and also my wife’s hours that will be cut soon.Trying to stay strong for my son but i feel I’m running on empty .