I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I'm due my surgery on the 9th the problem is I'm not very good with needles and especially canulars and I am already getting myself anxious about it have you any suggestions 

  • Hello Barney,

    Thanks for getting in touch. My name is Megan, I’m one of the Cancer Information Nurses on the Macmillan Support Line.

    Welcome to the online community. I hope you have been finding it supportive.

    I am sorry to hear you are becoming increasingly anxious over the thought of your upcoming surgery, in particular your anxiety around needles and cannulas.

    Needle/Injection phobia is a fear of medical procedures that involve needles or injections. It may be reassuring to know that it is very common and affects at least 1 in 10 people; so please know that you are not alone.

    The NHS has some general information on treating phobias which you may find useful.

    More specifically many hospitals have created their own information and support about needle phobia and overcoming your fear, with some useful self-help techniques and exercises that you could start practicing from today.

    Other practical tips such as using gloves to keep hands warm so that veins are easier to locate, the importance of being well hydrated in the lead up to treatment are all helpful to consider.

    Additionally, I would encourage you, if you have not already, to inform your clinical team of this increasing anxiety so that they can help best support you through this time.

    Lastly, you might find Breast Cancer Now’s service, Someone Like Me a really helpful support.

    I hope this information is useful. Please don’t hesitate to get back in contact by email, webchat or phone, if you need further information or support.

    The Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial and emotional support. You can call us free from landlines and from most mobile phone networks on 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week, 8am – 8pm.


    Best wishes, Megan

    Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 


    Ref MD/HM