Oesophageal Cancer Awareness and Fear

Oesophageal Cancer Awareness and Fear

February is oesophageal cancer awareness month and we're taking some time today to highlight some of our recent content relevant to people affected by an oesophageal cancer diagnosis, treatment or side effects.

We also want to talk about fear. We know that many people affected by cancer face fears around cancer treatment options and how the side effects can impact quality of life. We are here as an open and frank space where you can express your fears. They may be fears for your own cancer or that of a family member or loved one. You might be a carer and have fears about the impact of cancer treatment on someone else.

Whatever your fears, our online support groups are here for you to let it all out.

Discussions about fear

Our members often express fear in relation to Oesophageal cancer and the potential side effects of treatment.

"I'm so scared, I keep breaking down and getting upset!"
- Community Member, Oesophageal cancer forum

"tonight I’m really terrified wondering how he’s going to cope"
- Community Member, Oesophageal cancer forum

On the Online Community, it’s ok to talk about fear. You can share exactly how you’re feeling and often members find others who know exactly what they are going through. It might make you feel better talking to others who understand.

"I found this forum so comforting when my mam was ill."
- Community Member, Oesophageal cancer forum

"Thank you very much for replying, your kind words brought tears to my eyes"
- Community Member, Oesophageal cancer forum

Fear of change, or the unknown is a common and understandable emotion when facing Oesophageal cancer. Approaching cancer treatment can also bring about these same fears.

"My husband starts chemo tomorrow, we’ve been on a real rollercoaster for just over a month with different appointments in 4 different hospitals. I’ve been worried wondering how I’ll cope."
- Community Member, Oesophageal cancer forum

The Online Community is a place where you can freely talk about your fears, for you or your family members. You may find others with just the experience to help you feel better.

"In regards to coping there are many amazing partners in this forum who can support and give advice."
- Community Member, Oesophageal cancer forum

Whatever is making you feel afraid, you are not alone in how you feel. The Community and it’s online support groups are here for you.

The Fear of Recurrence

We also wanted to highlight that fear can have a strong impact after treatment has finished. We’re not just talking about physical side effects of cancer treatment but also the emotional impact. We wrote a blog about it towards then end of last year entitled 'The Recurring Fear of Recurrence’.

Oesophageal Cancer and Food

Many people find a lot of enjoyment in food. A cancer diagnosis can bring up fears around losing this enjoyment, about quality of life after treatment, and much more. It can be a concern for carers or family members, who still want to provide that enjoyment wherever possible.

Over Christmas we released a blog titled Mealtimes During the Festive Season which talked about how mealtimes with loved ones might look different, and how to deal with this.

Speech or Voice Changes and Oesophageal Cancer

Whether your speech or voice changes, and if it’s permanent or temporary, is different from person to person. It depends on an individual’s cancer diagnosis. We understand that there are concerns and fears around this and towards the end of last year we created a blog called Has your speech or voice changed after a cancer diagnosis or cancer treatment? to talk openly about this topic.

We hope you found this blog supportive and informative. Fear can be a powerful emotion and we hope that our online forums act as support groups to relieve it, at least a little. 

You can find the discussions mentioned here, along with many others, in our Oesophageal cancer forum.

It’s important we make the content that matters to you. Please feel free to give feedback in the comments section below, or email us anytime at community@macmillan.org.uk.

  • I feel so sad for my husband ,never seem to get anything right ,so tired 

  • Hi

    It sounds like you're going through a tough time at the moment. Do you have any other support around you? 

    In case it's helpful, we have some information about emotional and practical support for carers here. If you're struggling to cope, please do reach out for support. 

    I wonder if it might help to talk to others in the Community? You can find the 'Carers Only forum' here where it might help to share your feelings and get support from people who understand. 

    If you’d like to talk anything through with someone at Macmillan, I’d encourage you to contact the Support Line for a chat. Our Support Line teams are available 7 days a week, 8am-8pm on freephone 0808 808 00 00email or live webchat.

  • Back Home Day 2 with Niece Drain in the throat for infections and being fed by tube every 4 hours from 6 am to 10 pm

  • Hi ,

    Thank you for your comment, I hope you found Tom's blog helpful to read through.

    Lots of members in our "Oesophageal cancer" group might really understand how you feel just now. Do you think you might like to reach out to them? If you follow my link you can join the group by clicking "Join" under "Group tools." You can then write a new post if you would like to by clicking "+New" or "+" in the top right corner next to the group title. 

    Going through treatment can be a lot to go through. If you'd like further help at the moment, please remember our Support Line is also here for you. Between 8am and 8pm, every day, you can speak to one of our support advisers, nurses and other teams confidentially by calling freephone 0808 808 00 00email or live webchat.

    If there's anything else we can help with or if you have any questions, please remember you can reach the Community team over email to community@macmillan.org.uk. You can also send a private message to by clicking on the speech bubble icon on the top right.

    Take care,


    Macmillan Community team