If you or someone you know has cancer, there are places you can go to, and people you can turn to, who will give you support and advice.
On this page you will find general information about support groups, carers' support and emotional support.
You will find advice about finances on our Money matters pages.
Our Nursing page has information about the nursing care which is available if you need nursing support at home.
Check the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife and Lothian pages to find out about support in your local area.
You might find our Talking about it or our Coping with each stage - Q&A leaflets pages helpful too.
You will probably have been assigned a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who will be involved in co-ordinating your care. You will be given their contact details so that you can get in touch with the CNS at any point during your treatment to ask for advice about your care.
Macmillan Cancer Support Helpline - Macmillan's team of experts can answer any questions you have, offer support, or simply listen if you want to chat. Call free on 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm).
If you are being treated in Edinburgh, you can visit the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at the Western General Hospital.
There are also Macmillan Information and Support Centres in
Maggie's Cancer Support Centres - Each Maggie's Centre has a team of support specialists who can provide information about cancer and its treatments, emotional support and advice on practical matters (eg benefits, insurance, nutrition, working). If you are being treated in Edinburgh, you can visit the Edinburgh Maggie's Centre. There is also a Maggie's Centre in Fife.
It can be hard managing the impact of living with cancer and difficult to explain to others who don't know how it feels, or how it affects your life. Many people benefit from spending some time with others in the same situation so that they can both learn from each other and help each other in a group setting, which is safe and supportive. Support groups offer information and support to people living with cancer.
They give you an opportunity to meet and talk to people in a similar situation.
In many cases relatives and friends are also welcome.
Check the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife and Lothian pages to find out what local support groups there are in your area.
Losing your hair as a result of treatment for cancer can be a distressing side effect.
Talking Heads is a session run by the Maggie's Centre, Edinburgh for women and men who are anticipating or experiencing hair loss.
The aim is to give you an opportunity to share your experiences and
anxieties around losing your hair and to learn practical ways to manage
this. This includes help with wig and scalp care, learning about scarf
tying and experimenting with a range of headwear styles. The sessions
are led by a Cancer Support Specialist and run on one Tuesday each month from 2pm
until 4pm. Call 0131 537 3131 for further information or to pre-book a
Headstrong is a free support service for anyone experiencing hair loss because
of cancer treatment. Trained volunteers show clients how to cope
with hair loss by demonstrating a range of headwear, including scarves,
hats and hairpieces and provide information about hair loss and scalp
and hair care.
Appointments are available at:
Western General Hospital, Edinburgh on Mondays. Call 0131 537 3907 for an appointment
St John's Hospital, Livingston on alternate Thursdays. Call 01506 522 119 for an appointment
Information and advice on coping with hair loss is also available on the Macmillan Cancer Support website.
If you are a carer, your local Carers’ Centre may be able to help make things
easier for you. Each centre delivers a wide range of local support services to
meet the needs of carers in its community. These range from support services
catered to the carer, the needs of the person you care for and the services your
council may provide. Check the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife and Lothian pages to find out if there is a centre your area.
Hello How Are You? (PDF, 400k) is a guide for carers written by carers, produced by Macmillan Cancer Support.
Each person feels the emotional effects of cancer differently. The
diagnosis and treatment may make you feel fear, anger, sadness or
depression. These emotions can be frightening and difficult to deal
with. Over time they generally get easier to cope with. Some people, however,
find that the emotions and feelings do not get easier to deal with, and
you may need help in learning to cope with them.
The SCAN Clinical Psychology Team has prepared several information leaflets about the feelings and emotions that you may experience and which include the answers to commonly asked questions as well as details of the services available.
You might find the information on the emotional support section of the Macmillan Cancer Support website helpful.
The Edinburgh Labyrinths are unique spaces which allow you to slow down, still the mind and find time for reflection. Take time out to walk either the outdoor or indoor labyrinths.