Macmillan Cancer Support and YouGov research has shown that 1 in 3 people diagnosed with cancer have felt lonely or isolated recently, but worryingly 88% (1) wouldn’t want to make their feelings ‘someone else’s problem’. The research also revealed that January is typically the toughest month for people with cancer.
Lee Hodgson, Head of services for Macmillan Cancer Support in the South West said; ‘It’s a real concern that so many people feel like they can’t talk about their illness or the effect it’s having on them. Dealing with cancer is hard enough, without feeling as though you have to face it alone.’
Kathryn Radcliffe, centre manager at The Cove Macmillan Support Centre at Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust is supporting the charity’s call to get people talking for Cancer Talk Week. She said;
‘Talking about your cancer may feel difficult at times. You may think it’s not worthwhile or you may worry about making someone feel uncomfortable. But putting your fears or concerns into words can help you, and others, make sense of difficult situations and feel more in control.
‘Some people don’t want to share their feelings about cancer or its treatment and that is fine too. Be open with your friends and family about when it’s hard to talk. You may also want to enjoy times when you don’t talk about the cancer. Don’t be afraid to tell people when you would prefer to talk about other things.
‘The key thing to remember is that sharing your concerns about cancer doesn’t make you a burden; a problem shared can be a problem halved. If you’re unable to or would prefer not to talk to friends and family, there are lots of options which mean you don’t have to face cancer alone.’
More than four in ten (45%) of people with cancer say the emotional effects of cancer
are the most difficult to cope with, compared to the physical and practical aspects (2).
A visit to a cancer information and support centre provides the chance to ask questions and talk through concerns with specialist staff and trained volunteers, access information booklets and leaflets, and they can also signpost to other local services and support groups.
The Cove Macmillan Support Centre is open to anyone affected by cancer – Monday – Friday 09.30 – 16.30 – at Truro’s Royal Cornwall Hospital.
Macmillan’s Head of Services in the South West Lee Hodgson continued; ‘It’s really common for people to feel anxious – right from the point of diagnosis to after treatment has finished. That’s why this Cancer Talk Week we want more people in Cornwall to know that whatever you need – be it reliable information, medical care, help with money worries, emotional support or just a chat with someone who’s been there – Macmillan can help. Our support line, information and support centres, health professionals and Online Community are there so you don’t have to make your way alone.’
No one in Cornwall should face cancer alone. For support, information or if you have any questions, call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk.