Whether you are worried you might have cancer, waiting to hear about test results, or you’ve just found out you have cancer, you might have a lot of different feelings.  

Mob who have had cancer have described it as upsetting, shocking and scary. There are other feelings too, such as feeling angry about having cancer, guilty for not being able to help look after other people, stressed because of money and lonely maybe being away for treatment without family around.

Sometimes, people don’t understand how you feel and might not know that you’re still coming to terms with it all and could do with a lot of help and understanding. It’s hard to let people know and hard to know how to manage it with your family.

Cancer, illness and hospitals are often a reminder of others who have been sick or passed on into The Dreaming, which is very sad and others around you might be feeling this too.

You might be worried about how your spouse or partner feels. You might be worried about kids and family – what they will think and how you and they will cope. You might be concerned about a family history of cancer. Ask your doctor if there is something your family should think about doing, like having tests themselves. There is some information available on this website about family history of cancer.

If your treatment is over, you might be worried about cancer coming back, and how and when you will know if it does. You might find it hard waiting for test results. You might also be worried about how your body has changed from having cancer.

For many people, these feelings ease with time,but it’s important to reach out for the help and support you need, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Where to get help and support

Yarning about how you feel can help. You can talk to:

  • your doctor, nurse or Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health worker
  • your family and friends
  • your Elders
  • a counsellor or social worker
  • the Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

Cancer in our mob


Where can I get help and support?