Friends and partners

Cancer is almost certainly going to change the relationships you have with people in your life. Some will become stronger, while others may become strained.

There are people that stick by you, and they are really important. You really get to know who your friends are.

Your friends

You may or may not be worried about telling your friends you have cancer. You might decide you don’t want to tell them at all and ask someone close to you to speak to them. Or you may choose to let news spread naturally or just say you’ve had an illness and nothing more.

It's important to remember that you're in control of how much you tell people about your cancer and treatment. If some friends want to know specific details and you feel comfortable providing them, you could print out pages about your cancer and treatment from our website.

Whatever you decide to do, it’s likely your friends will react in different ways. Some will be supportive, and their friendship will become even more important to you. Other friends may seem to be avoiding you. This can hurt, but it's probably because they don’t know what to do.

To help with this, you might want to make the first contact. It might help to let them know that you're going through a tough time and that you really need them right now. Most friends will feel relieved, see you’re still you and realise you want to be treated the same as always. 

Content last reviewed: November 2015
Next planned review: 2016