Starting treatment


If you or someone close to you is about to start cancer treatment, then you may be concerned about what's ahead and how to prepare.

This page will give you information on starting and preparing for treatment and how can help.


Waiting for treatment to start

Knowing when your treatment is going to start can feel reassuring but waiting for that day to come can be difficult.

You may be anxious and scared about what's to come and feel very alone.

It can help, during this time, to talk things through with others.

Our Cancer Support Specialists are here to help you and your family – find your nearest .


Being prepared – is here

It can help you to feel more in control to prepare as much as you can for your treatment starting.

Our Cancer Support Specialists in our centres are here to talk through what you may find helpful in the days and weeks before your treatment begins.

You may want to consider:

  • Regular gentle exercise can help you feel physically and emotionally better
  • The types of food you eat – eating well can help your mood, recovery and general health
  • Looking after your emotional wellbeing
  • Telling people – talking to your friends, family and your employer about your treatment and possible side effects
  • Accepting offers of help – most people want to help but don't know how so prepare a list of things they can do
  • Talking through money worries with a Benefits Advisor to find out what support is available
  • Planning for managing possible symptoms and side effects – for example organising a hair cut, wig fitting or dental appointment
  • Things you need to buy – for example you might need a thermometer to check your temperature during chemotherapy or a soft toothbrush for a sore mouth
  • Packing a bag with things to help pass the time and make you feel more comfortable during appointments
  • Preparing foods for the freezer for days when you don't feel like cooking
  • Keeping track of important hospital dates by adding them to your phone or diary
  • Adding important contact numbers to your phone – emergency hospital or friends and family
  • Going to any pre-treatment discussions you’re invited to by the hospital
  • Planning treats for you and your family can help you all through a difficult time

How can help

We're here for you and your family and can help you prepare for treatment in lots of ways:

  • Our Cancer Support Specialists in our centres can talk through treatment concerns and guide you to the support that's right for you
  • Our Benefits Advisors can discuss money worries and help you claim what you're entitled to
  • Appointments with our psychologists to help manage difficult emotions
  • Relaxation and managing stress sessions
  • Eating well sessions with nutritional therapists
  • Exercise groups for all abilities including yoga, tai chi and walking
  • Getting Started courses to help you understand what's involved with treatment
  • Meeting others in similar situations round the kitchen tables in our centres

Last review: Oct 2021 | Next review: Oct 2022

Get cancer support near you

To find your nearest Maggie's centre, enter your postcode or town below.

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