Looking after your mental health during and after cancer

Cancer doesn’t just affect your physical health – it can affect your mental health too. You may feel a wide range of different emotions. Here we look at how cancer can affect you mentally and emotionally and how best to cope.

How cancer can affect you mentally

Being diagnosed with cancer is life-changing for you and your family. During and after your treatment, you’re likely to go through a whole range of emotions. Common reactions include fear, anxiety, sadness, guilt and anger.

It’s natural to feel frightened and overwhelmed when finding out about a cancer diagnosis. It can have a huge impact on your life, as well as the lives of the people around you.

There’s no set way for you to feel and your emotions may be very up and down. You may feel very positive at times and very anxious at others. Some people may tell you that you need to keep positive and that your mood can affect your cancer and its response to treatment. This isn’t true and can be hurtful. It may make you feel even more anxious and guilty. So don’t worry if you have a down day – it won’t set you back.

If you need help now

This page is designed to provide health information about mental health after or during cancer. If you need help now, the following helpline is free for you to call and talk to someone.

  • Samaritans
    116 123 (UK and ROI)

Alternatively, follow this link to Mind’s website and click on the yellow ‘I need urgent help’ button at the top left of the page. This is a tool that is designed to help you understand what’s happening to you and how you can help yourself.

If you need immediate help or are worried about someone, call the emergency services.

Worry and anxiety

When you are diagnosed, you’re likely to worry about the impact cancer will have on you or a loved one and what the future may hold. Cancer can affect the whole family and talking to each other about how you feel can help you all to cope.

You might feel anxious about appointments for tests or treatment. These feelings may come and go, or they might be there all the time. Finding out more about the tests and treatments for cancer can help you to feel more positive and less anxious.

You may be surprised if you feel anxious after your treatment has ended, but this is quite common. You may be expecting to feel relieved, but for some people, suddenly seeing your doctors and nurses less often can be worrying. You need to give yourself time to adjust.

If worry and anxiety become extreme, they can interfere with everyday life. You may feel tired, irritable, unable to concentrate and have trouble sleeping. Physical symptoms can include:

  • feeling sick
  • butterflies in your stomach
  • sweating
  • feeling your heart thumping in your chest (palpitations)
  • shortness of breath

Some people have panic attacks. These have similar symptoms, but they are much more intense.

Part of coping with your cancer is about looking after your emotions. So talk to your doctors and nurses if you’re having problems with worry or anxiety. Some hospitals have specialist counsellors you can talk to. Just discussing how you feel and talking through what is making you anxious may help you to get things into perspective.

If you’re caring for someone with cancer, you might also find that it helps to talk about your emotions and how you are feeling. Try talking to family, friends, or a local or online support group.

Making some changes to your lifestyle can also help to improve anxiety. Eating well and exercising can give you more energy and this can help you to cope better. Some people find that simple relaxation exercises or complementary therapies, such as meditation or acupuncture help.

For more information about how you can look after yourself, see our section: Helping yourself.


Having cancer, or knowing someone who does, can make you feel angry from time to time. You may not be able to do things you used to. You may think it’s unfair that you or someone you love has been affected by cancer whereas others haven’t. Feeling angry is a natural response and you shouldn’t feel guilty about angry thoughts.

Anger becomes a problem when it begins to harm the relationships you have with others. Relatives and friends may think you are angry with them rather than with the cancer. They may also feel angry that you have to deal with the cancer or that it’s changed their lives too. Your friends and relatives may find it helps to speak to someone about how they are feeling.

If you can, talk to those closest to you about how you feel, preferably at a time when you’re not feeling angry. If you find it difficult to talk to your family, and you think your anger is becoming a problem, talk to your doctor or nurse. They can help you find ways to cope. This might be through self-help techniques (such as relaxation exercises), counselling or a specialised anger management programme.


Feeling sad and low at times isn’t unusual when you’re coping with cancer. But a continuous low mood that doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks can be a sign of depression, which may affect up to one in four people with cancer. If you’ve had depression before, you may be more likely to get depressed when you have cancer. It’s important to remember that depression is common and can be treated.

If you’re depressed, you may feel low all the time and no longer enjoy the things in life that you used to. Other symptoms can include feeling restless and agitated, having no appetite and difficulty getting to sleep or waking early.

You may not realise that you’re becoming depressed because it can come on gradually. It might be that the people around you notice it first. They might try to talk to you about it and suggest you seek some help.

If you think you may have depression, the first step is to see your doctor. There are several different types of treatment, including:

  • counselling
  • cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • antidepressant medicines

Your doctor may suggest one or more of these. There are also ways you can help yourself. Being active and doing physical exercise may help. At the very least, getting out for some fresh air and exercise may help to lift your mood and help you to sleep better.

For more information, see our section: Helping yourself.

Helping yourself

Three key ways you can help with your mental health if you have cancer, include:

  • looking after yourself
  • learning to relax
  • talking about how you feel

It’s also very important to ask for help when you need it. If you feel you aren’t coping, don’t feel guilty or embarrassed about asking others for support. Life-changing events, such as cancer, are often difficult to deal with. Remember help is out there and taking advantage of it can make all the difference.

Looking after your physical health

Keeping yourself in good physical health can positively affect your mental health. It will also help you manage treatment side-effects and the changes having cancer brings. There are a number of things you can do.

  • Eat well. Eating well when you have cancerhelps you to cope with treatment side-effects, recover faster and fight off infections. Eating during treatment can be difficult. So if you’re off your food at times, try to make up for it when you’re feeling a bit better.
  • Keep active. Regular exercise during and after cancer can make you feel more positive, improve your general health and may help you to manage anxiety or depression. If you haven’t been active for a while, build up slowly to 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week.
  • Sleep well. Tiredness can affect your concentration, leave you feeling demotivated and lacking in energy. Sleep is also important for physical health. A good bedtime routine can help. Have a look at our other tips on how to get a good night’s sleep. Tell your doctor if you’re still having problems.


Learning to relax can help improve your mood. More specifically it can help with managing depression and anxiety. It might also help with sleep problems and help you to cope with pain.

A warm bath or listening to soothing music may be all it takes for you to unwind and relax. Or you may want to try relaxation techniques. There are several different types, including:

  • imagery – picturing a scene that you find calming, such as the memory of a holiday
  • muscle relaxation – tensing and relaxing your muscles in turn, from your feet to your head, while imagining tension flowing out of your body
  • breathing exercises – focusing on the rhythm and depth of your breathing and slowing it down

To get the most from these techniques, it’s best to practise daily for a short time. Choose a warm, quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. There are books and relaxation tapes you can buy to help you. Or you may want to join a group or class.

You may also have heard of mindfulness, which many people find very helpful in combatting stress, including stress related to having cancer. Mindfulness is essentially a way of staying in the moment and not letting worries about the past or future intrude. Mindfulness can be combined with everyday activities such as breathing and walking. Exercises include mindful breathing and mindful walking meditation.

Keep Talking

Cancer can be a worrying time, and many people find it difficult to talk about. But talking about your cancer can be comforting and can help you find support, feel less anxious and more in control.

It’s up to you to decide who you want to talk to about your cancer and how much you want to say. Here’s a list of suggestions.

  • Cancer doctors and nurses will be aware of the emotions and reactions people have to the illness. Ask them to explain anything you don’t understand, for example any cancer terminology they use when talking to you at your appointments or in hospital.
  • Support groups and help lines can provide a listening ear, advice and practical tips to help you cope with cancer.
  • A counsellor or psychologist can help you work through worries and fears. Your doctor can refer you. Some employers have an employee assistance programme that provides confidential counselling and advice.
  • Family and friends will be better at coping and supporting you if they understand how you feel.
  • Talking to children about cancer can be a frightening thought. Often, the best approach is to be open and honest, using simple language and explaining changes in your appearance or lifestyle that they may notice. Although it can be hard, it’s important to tell your children what’s happening. You may feel as though you’re protecting your child by not talking about it. But in reality, it can cause them to feel shut out, frightened and worried. For details of organisations that provide lots of helpful information around talking to your children about cancer, see our section: Other helpful websites.
  • Talking to colleagues about cancer is your decision. You may find it helpful to talk to your manager and/or occupational health adviser so that they can help you to cope at work.

Source : Bupa

Please meet the BTC Ladies FC 20/21

Please meet the new BTC Ladies FC squad for the coming 20/21 season.

Our current sponsors are….

Home kit sponsor – Daughter & Sons Washing Services Ltd

Away kit Sponsor – Davies Domestic Appliances Ltd

Training kit sponsor – Charlotte & Co

Manager: Mark Bates

Assistant manager/Safeguarding officer: Cath Postin

Team Medic: Michael Scott

Goal Keeping Coach: Luke Timbrell

We are looking for individual player sponsors at £20 per player get in touch if you would like to sponsor one or more.

1- Amy Pooler – Sponsored by Amy Pegg
2 – Ann-Marie Abbotts – Sponsored by Carys Abbotts
3 – Louise Chaves (C) -Sponsored by Harvey Pegg
4 – Sophie Lewis- Sponsored by Betty Lockley
5 – Sally-Anne Davies – Sponsored by Katie Davies
6 – Alex Bates – Sponsored by Peter Knight
7 -Amelia Garrett – Sponsored by Absolute Wicked Handmade
8 – Laurie Venton – Sponsored by Team Bodge
9 – Chelsea Cope – Sponsored by Tony Fisher
10 – Danielle Gedling – Sponsored by Adam Wilson
11- Hollie Langford – Sponsored by Shannon Bramham
12 – Cath Postin – Sponsored by Top up Teachers
14 – Rebecca Brough
15 – Kanika Green – Sponsored by Secondary Breast Cancer Support
16 – Samantha Brough
17 – Lorraine Hughes – Sponsored by Stuart Glover
18 – Michelle Davies-Plant- Sponsored by Sam Davies-Plant
19 – Reemah Ziarab
20 – Sarah Hubble – Sponsored by Secondary Breast Cancer Support
21 – Hannah Cresswell
22 – Emma Morgan -Sponsored by Robert Nicholls
23 – Nikki Tranter


The Printsave Reward Scheme is donating £1 Million to grassroots football clubs….

Balls to Cancer are delighted to announce a new partnership agreement with Printsave Limited.

The way the Reward Scheme works is very simple; if anyone associated or connected to Balls to Cancer invites Printsave into their place of work to complete a cost saving proposal for Photocopiers, Desktop Printers, Manged Print or Document Management and they proceed Printsave will donate £100 per Desktop Printer & £250 per Photocopier directly to Balls to Cancer.

All enquiries & leads or for more details please phone the team on 0121 809 7718 or email to BTC@printsaveltd.com

Printsave are a leading supplier of office solutions supplying Photocopiers, Desktop Printers, Managed Print Service and Document Management to companies of all sizes throughout the UK and Europe.

Printsave Manager Director Stephen Cowan said:

“We are delighted to be Partners with Balls to Cancer as it’s a fantastic charity. Unfortunately, we all know someone who is or has been affected by cancer so we hope via the power of networking, word of mouth and social media we can promote our Reward Scheme aimed at giving back £1 Million to grassroots football clubs and charity organisations so that Balls to Cancer have more funding available to complete their fantastic work. We look forward to a long, successful partnership and see partnering with Balls to Cancer as a huge step forward to help us put money back into grassroots football and charity organisations to be used for the development of local players, facilities, coaching, training etc. as well as helping to support cancer health issues”. Let’s check ourselves and say Balls to Cancer.

Mark Bates, Balls to Cancer co-founder said:

“We are delighted to be partners with Printsave, their Reward Scheme is a fantastic initiative and we feel it can benefit Balls to Cancer greatly, we will aim to get the message out to our community. I would like to thank Stephen, for his help and support in getting this partnership set up. Printsave have partnered with various County FA’s, grassroots leagues and clubs, helping to support youth football and are partnering with charity organisations have to help promote their £1 Million Reward Scheme and ultimately give back to worthwhile causes. I would ask all our supporters to get behind this partnership and encourage companies to consider inviting Printsave into quote for new Photocopiers & Printers as they specialise in saving companies money as well as supplying new machines and excellent customer service. If anyone has any questions about the Reward Scheme and need any support in starting the process of enquiry, please do not hesitate to contact the team on 0121 809 7718 or BTC@printsaveltd.com or phone Stephen directly on 07395 321140

Cancer Guidelines During Covid19

As of April 1, 2020, more than 800 000 cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) had been confirmed worldwide. The death toll in Italy is approaching 12 000 people, with Spain not far behind. The USA has reported more than 164 000 cases of the disease, including more than 38 000 cases in New York City alone. There are concerns that the COVID-19 could overwhelm health-care systems worldwide. Many nations have reported a shortage of ventilators.The UK is one of several countries to have suspended elective surgery. On March 26, Gethin Williams, a colorectal surgeon at the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Wales, warned that his institution was under severe strain, with operating theatres turned into intensive care units to accommodate the influx of patients with COVID-19. “The rate at which COVID-19 is going through the Royal Gwent, there’ll be no colorectal surgery for the foreseeable future”, he said. “Without treatment, some cancers could obstruct, others could metastasise.”

• Oncology societies and national authorities have been quick to issue guidelines on cancer care during the pandemic. Giuseppe Curigliano (European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy) is a council member of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO). “ESMO is taking this very seriously”, he said. “They are offering guidance to medical oncologists and giving training on how to manage patients with cancer while this pandemic goes on.” According to an analysis of Italian patients published in March, 20% of those who died from COVID-19 in the country had active cancer.The ESMO website includes general information on COVID-19, a Q&A section, and links to useful resources. ESMO recommends that oncologists remain ready to adjust their routines. It suggests bolstering telemedicine services, reducing clinic visits, and switching to subcutaneous or oral therapies, rather than intravenous ones, when possible. There is also advice on supporting patients and on infection control.In its guidance for managing patients with cancer requiring acute treatment, NHS England warned that certain groups are particularly vulnerable to serious illness if they become infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. These groups include individuals who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer, and patients with cancers of the blood or bone marrow. “Different cancers produce immune suppression to different extents”, explains Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). “The blood cancers often directly compromise the immune system, so those patients are probably most at risk, whereas cancers such as colon cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer do not typically cause immune suppression that is not treatment-related.”Schilsky notes that standard chemotherapy regimens for most solid tumours mainly cause transient immune suppression that manifests in low white blood cell counts. “You can prop up the white blood cells using colony-stimulating factors, so these patients are probably at lower risk than the blood cancer patients”, he told The Lancet Oncology.The pandemic poses several challenges for oncology services. Caregivers have to think about how to minimise their patients’ exposure to health-care facilities, one of the best options is to have someone from Expert Home Care, Inc. 317 George St #320, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 (732) 937-5320 to help them at home. “We are seeing systems adapt to this now, with telephone and telehealth consultations, and much More hints, people receiving laboratory testing at facilities closer to their homes, and some evaluations being delayed”, said Schilsky. NHS England’s guidance lists several possible options, including home delivery of oral medications and repeat prescriptions.Then there are issues associated with infection. Oncologists are accustomed to dealing with such complications, but the problem with COVID-19 is that there is no specific treatment. “The risk–benefit calculus is tricky”, said Schilsky. “On the one hand, a patient might be at high risk of contracting the infection and dying from it; on the other hand, the patient might be at high risk of the cancer progressing or causing death if it is not treated appropriately.” Physicians have to assess whether treatment plans should be initiated on schedule or delayed, and if so, for how long?NHS England stresses that individual patient decisions have to be made by multidisciplinary teams. Its guidance establishes priority groups for surgery, systemic anticancer treatments, and radiotherapy. For systemic treatments, NHS England sets out six priority levels. Patients who are in line for curative therapy with a greater than 50% chance of success are in the highest level. Patients who are awaiting non-curative therapy that is unlikely to offer palliation, tumour control, or more than 1 year’s extension of life are assigned the lowest priority level. For radiotherapy, there are five levels of priority, patients with rapidly proliferating tumours with little scope for delay are in the highest group.

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View Large ImageCopyright © 2020 NIAID-RML/National Institues of Health/Science Photo Library

Several other cancer societies have issued some guidance. The Society of Surgical Oncology website includes disease-site specific resources to help guide decisions in the era of COVID-19, as well as a series of podcasts from different specialists. There are information sheets on a range of malignancies, including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, endocrine cancer, and melanoma, with each subdivided into disease types, when appropriate.In a statement issued on COVID-19, the European Society of Surgical Oncology (ESSO) advised against seeing patients older than 70 years in the clinic, unless urgent. ESSO also emphasised the importance of ensuring that the workforce does not burn out. “Rest and recuperation, as well as psychological support should be factored into planning”, the statement concluded.The ASCO website also assembles a great deal of information on patient care and COVID-19, along with links to guidance from organisations such as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and several oncology societies. ASCO has produced guidance on how practices should ready themselves for the virus; advice can be found on staffing, clinical preparedness, infection prevention and control, and patient scheduling. There are also mental health resources. Practitioners can find the tips on enhancing coping useful. The suggestions include avoiding information overload and taking a break from news and social media related to COVID-19. There is also a set of tips for enhancing mental and physical health—one suggested exercise is mindful handwashing, which could be a neat way to combine hygiene and wellbeing.The American Society for Radiation Oncology website contains a large section on COVID-19. The organisation is putting together specific recommendations for its membership, based on the findings of a dedicated workgroup. Its website contains frequently asked questions, several of which are directly relevant to clinical decision making, and links to journal articles and relevant websites.The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy and the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) have both issued guidelines for COVID-19 management. The EBMT warns that the travel restrictions imposed in Europe are likely to have a serious effect on transplant activities both on the continent and beyond. “Due to the rapidly changing situation, access to a stem cell donor might be restricted either due to the donor becoming infected, logistical reasons at the harvest centres in the middle of a strained health-care system, or travel restrictions across international borders”, note the EBMT guidelines. “It is therefore strongly recommended to have secured stem cell product access by freezing the product before start of conditioning and, in situations when this is not possible, to have an alternative donor as a back-up.”On the regulatory side, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued guidance on managing clinical trials during the time of COVID-19, as have the US National Cancer Institute and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The EMA document outlines the changes and adaptations that might be required over the course of the pandemic, for example, if trial participants need to be isolated, access to public places is limited, or health-care professionals have to take up different duties. It suggested that trial organisers consider suspensions, extensions, and postponements, depending on circumstances. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued guidance on delivering radiotherapy and systemic cancer therapies, which draws from NHS England’s guidance.Finally, the Global Radiation Oncology Targeted Response emerged from an online discussion involving 121 contributors in March, 2020. The paper explores subjects such as infection prevention, rationalisation of working practices, and specific issues related to radiation oncology. Advice on specific diseases is offered, and the authors list radiotherapy treatments that could be omitted. But they also point out that although deferring radical treatment for diseases with favourable biology “might seem immediately preferable, it might have unintended consequence in creating a further unmanageable surge in activity when the crisis has passed.”It is too early to tell what shape this pandemic will take. But it is worth noting that the epidemic in China appears to be slowing down. Yi-Long Wu (Guangdong Lung Cancer Institute, Guangdong, China) points out that the major disruption to cancer care in the country occurred during the first two weeks of February. “From late February, everywhere except for Hubei province, we were able to start giving patients surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy again”, he told The Lancet Oncology. “Now we are coming back to normal.”

Source: The Lancet

Balls to Cancer Ladies invite girls 5-15 to join their Junior section.

Balls to Cancer ladies are inviting girls 5-15 years old to join their Junior section.

As part of their commitment to women’s football they have decided to add a full range of girls teams. They will be educating girls about the importance of cora organic tampons review, because they are safer for their health, and highlighting that it is more a personal choice for them.

They will be holding open training sessions in and around Dudley/Tipton and Bilston between now and the start of the new season in September.

The details about the sessions will be posted on their facebook page here

Male Cancer Awareness Month

We will be marking Male Cancer Awareness month with various events that you can get involved in loose waist fat.

Each one a bit of fun on a Friday whether you are at work, university, college or school.

So please put the dates in your diary and help us raise desperately needed funds and raise life saving awareness.

Our Holiday Homes Make The Difference

Our Holiday homes have been helping cancer fighting families get respite from the disease and treatment for over 5 years.

Here’s just some of the kind comments left in our guest books.

We need your help to keep this vital service going. Please help by texting Holiday to 70085 to donate just £3

BTC Rally raising funds

The brilliant Tony Smith and his wonderful wife Kay took on an amazing adventure in 2019 to raise funds for us.

They took part in the Pompeii or bust rally. 150 cars, 1535 miles in just 5 days!

Tony and Kay have been supporters of the charity for some years and have been raising funds and awareness

They have raised a magnificent £3,500 to date

You can follow their future fundraising on Twitter and Instagram @RallyBTC

Lizzies Looney Challenge

In 2016 Liz Gurney very sadly lost her dad Derek to cancer, in his memory she wanted to do something to help families of other cancer sufferers and raise awareness. So she set herself a challenge to raise £10,000 before she turns 40 for us.

So far Lizzie has been set a number of increasingly loony challenges to persuade you good people to part with your cash. So far she has walked the length of the Shropshire Union Canal, lots of runs and walks, has spent the entire of November 2017 dressed as a unicorn amongst lots of other fun events.

The plans for 2018 included Hobby Horse eventing, 9K Open Water swim, 3 peaks challenge and many more.

Liz spent much of 2019 doing more crazy events to raise funds leading up to a wonderful Magical Balls Ball with Mermaids, Unicorns and Dragons!

To date Liz has raised a massive £11,206 and aims to raise more! So if you would like to donate to Lizzies Looney Challenge please do so here