Many partners find the diagnosis and treatment of cancer distressing but are reluctant to seek help for themselves because they feel they need to be ‘strong’. Partners can experience higher levels of stress than the person diagnosed with cancer. They also have different information needs. Everyone is different and will have his or her own way of coping.
It’s important that people with cancer and their partners are open with each other about how they are feeling. Going to appointments together can provide valuable support and can give partners the opportunity to ask questions. Some partners choose to make a separate appointment with their doctor or another member of the team to discuss how they are feeling. Some couples choose to see a counsellor or other trained professional together.