Your relationships

Going through cancer and treatment ends up having a knock-on effect on your relationships. Changes to your routine mean you might see much more of your family and less of your friends. Your bond with some will naturally strengthen, while others may become strained – especially if people start acting differently all of a sudden. 

Try to remember that the people close to you will probably be as deeply affected by what’s happening as you are. The best advice is to try to talk about it openly and honestly, and let people know what you need from them.

How your cancer diagnosis affects your parents

Many parents and carers talk about the 'devastation' they experience when their child is diagnosed. They're naturally going to want to protect you, so it's important that they understand how you feel about things and respect your independence.

Read more about how to communicate with them.

How your brother or sister might be feeling

Whether you fight like cat and dog or are totally inseparable, your diagnosis is bound to hit your siblings hard. For lots of young people, their siblings bring some much needed 'normality' and lightness to what's happening.

Read more about how they might be feeling.

How do I tell my friends about my cancer?

Some friends will be totally brilliant. Others could be pretty rubbish. It's usually because people don't know how they're supposed to react.

Read more about how to tell them, what to tell them and dealing with reactions. 

Staying connected to your friends

Cancer can make you feel isolated, especially if you're spending lots of time in hospital, and have had to stop going to college, uni or work. It's important to stay close to the friendships that make you feel good.

Read more about staying connected with friends. 

Getting support for your partner

Whether you're dating or in a long-term relationship, cancer is bound to throw some challenges your way. 

Read more about support for your partner.

Relationships and sex

This section covers dating, sexuality, how you look and feel about your body, changes in your relationship, how treatment affects sex, contraception and lots more. 

Read more about how cancer can affect your love life. 

Supporting your children when you have cancer

If you have children of your own, it can be frightening to think about how you're supposed to carry on parenting them as you go through treatment. Getting support is crucial so you can focus on your own wellbeing too.

Read more about the support you and your children might need.

Updated March 2018, next review due 2019.