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The following services and resources help people who are experiencing difficult times. Sometimes you might feel that you should be able to cope or that your feelings are so overwhelming you don’t know how anyone could help, but try to be kind to yourself.

There are lots of ways to get ovarian cancer support, from talking to a professional to simply chatting to someone on the phone or an internet forum. We offer further information on practical ways to look after yourself here. You can also search for local support, including support groups near you, here

Support centres

Other sources of support for women with ovarian cancerWhat are they?

Many hospitals offering cancer treatment will have either their own, or a charity-run (such as Macmillan or Maggie’s) cancer centre on-site or close to the hospital.

How might they help?

They can be a great source of comfort for many people and may offer other support services. Centres often run a range of activities such as massage, reflexology, even gardening.

You don’t have to talk about your experience, it’s just a place you can relax knowing that the people around you will support you and understand what you are going through.

How do I find out more?

Ask your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) about support centres in your area or use our local support search page.

Online communities and blogs

What are they?

Many websites have forums and blogs where you can read about other people’s experiences and share your feelings.

How might they help?

Some people find it feels less scary to share feelings this way. Others find that simply reading about similar experiences helps them feel that they are not alone. 

How do I find out more?

  • Our blogs bring you insights from women who have had a diagnosis of ovarian cancer and how they feel. Get in touch if you’d like to become a guest blogger and write about your own experiences.
  • Ovarian cancer Facebook pages like ours keep you informed and give you the chance to connect with other people.
  • Facebook groups are smaller forums. They can be private groups (members join by invitation only), or open to everyone. 
    • Our 'In Touch' | Target Ovarian Cancer group is a private space where you can speak to other women with ovarian cancer wherever you are in the UK. The group is open to all women with ovarian cancer within our community but can't be accessed by members of the public; it is a safe, understanding and welcome place to discuss anything you'd like to. Find out more online or contact our Supportive Services team for further information. 
    • The Ovarian Cancer UK group is a private group for anyone affected by ovarian cancer wishing to raise awareness, talk about symptoms, offer and receive support and share information.
    • Go Girls Support Group is a Dorset based support group that also offers a private community for any woman who has been diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer.
  • Macmillan Cancer Support’s Online Community can give invaluable support at the click of a button.
  • Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres have an online centre where you can meet others and access online support groups.
  • HealthUnlocked is an online forum with hundreds of health communities. There is an ovarian cancer specific chat forum run by Ovacome.
  • Ellie's Friends is a searchable online directory of cancer support services in your area. It also contains listings of companies offering free or discounted products, services or experiences to adults living with cancer.

Telephone support

What is it?

The best person to speak to about your concerns is your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), who can provide reassurance and advice based on your specific situation. If you feel it would ease anxiety to follow up more general queries with someone other than your CNS or GP, there are lots of support lines available.

How might it help?

Some people find it easier to talk on the telephone than face-to-face. Although staff at these helplines will not be able to comment on your specific situation, they will be able to help with more general queries.

How do I find out more?

  • Our nurse-led ovarian cancer Support Line provides confidential information, support and signposting for anyone affected by ovarian cancer. The support line is open from 9am until 5.30pm, Monday to Friday on 020 7923 5475 or you can send us an email.
  • The Macmillan Cancer Support free support line is available Monday to Friday 9am-8pm on 0808 808 00 00. This service also offers an interpretation service in over 200 languages. When you call, just state, in English, the language you wish to use. You can also use their text-phone service on 0808 808 0121 or email one of their cancer support specialists.
  • The Eve Appeal offers a nurse-led specialised gynaecological cancer information service on all five gynaecological cancers to women who are concerned about symptoms. You can contact them on 0808 802 0019.
  • The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 116 123 (free to call). You can talk to them any time you like, for as long as you like, about anything that might be troubling you. You can also email them with your concerns. 

Professional support

If you would like some professional help dealing with your feelings, there are plenty of choices available.

First ask your Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), key worker or GP about the services available within your NHS Trust. Many women have found that taking problems through with their CNS or GP can be very helpful. They can offer insight into your situation and will be able to refer you to more specialist services.

If you want to find a therapist yourself and feel you can afford to use these services privately, the sites listed in this section can help you find a registered professional.

Other sources of support for women with ovarian cancerPsychological therapies

What are they?

Psychological therapies are a common form of emotional support that allow you to talk about your thoughts and feelings, and help you to manage them.

How might it help?

Just getting things off your chest can help. You can discuss the problems you are having and explore difficult feelings in a safe and confidential space. Being able to talk through frustrations and difficult feelings with a trained professional can allow you to be more controlled and patient with yourself and those around you.

How do I find out more?

  • Counselling: A counsellor's job is to listen and allow you to talk. Many NHS Trusts offer referrals to counselling services and many cancer support centres offer free counselling services on-site. For further information contact your CNS, GP or local support centre. Alternatively, if you choose private counselling you can find a registered counsellor through the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP). Call 01455 883 300 or visit their website. You may also find help through Counselling Directory, a confidential service that connects those in distress with a UK counsellor.
  • Psychological support: A psychologist will be able to discuss the problems you are having and look at how they are affecting you. They can then decide what type of psychological treatment may help you. The British Psychological Society (BPS) can help you find a psychologist in your area and offer the service in different languages if English is not your first language. Visit their website or telephone 0116 254 9568.
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT): CBT is a very practical way of looking at emotional distress which focuses less on the causes of your distress and more on what to do about it - how to improve your reactions to difficult situations. CBT examines how our ways of thinking can trigger difficult emotions and behaviours. The therapy then works to change behaviour by finding new ways to think about and approach problems. The CBT Register UK allows you to search for therapists in your local area. Most clinical psychologists in the UK are trained in CBT and you can be referred to one through your GP. 
  • Psychotherapy is similar to counselling but the therapist will try and find out where emotions or difficulties might be coming from. They will help you think about what is happening in your life now and what has happened to you in the past that might affect how you are feeling and behaving. Psychotherapy can help you understand why you behave in certain ways and how you might change this behaviour. The UK Council for Psychotherapy has a ‘Find a therapist’ service available on their website.
  • Mindfulness-based therapies help you focus on the present moment. It is recognised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to avoid repeated bouts of depression. Mindfulness is a form of non-religious meditation which can have benefits for your sense of wellbeing, help with stress and anxiety and can be practised at home. It is taught and practised in the UK by applied psychologists and other registered health professionals. Find out more.

Support for relationships, family and carers

Support for younger women

  • British Infertility Counselling Association is the professional association for infertility counsellors and counselling in the UK and can help find a counsellor near you.
  • The Daisy Network offer support to women who have experienced a premature menopause due to treatment or a medical condition. 
  • Shine Cancer Support supports young adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s living with any type of cancer diagnosis. Shine creates tailored events and get togethers allowing people to meet with others in a relaxed way.
  • The Willow Foundation is a national charity that provides psychological and emotional support for seriously ill 16 to 40 year olds through the provision of special day experiences.
  • The Menopause Exchange gives independent advice about the menopause, midlife and post-menopausal health.
  • The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is the UK's independent regulator licensing fertility clinics and centres carrying out in vitro fertilisation (IVF). It provides information and advice on IVF. 
  • The Hysterectomy Association aims to provide clear, concise information about hysterectomy and related issues for women undergoing, or planning to undergo, surgery. 
  • Surrogacy UK was created by experienced surrogate mothers who wanted to form an organisation that reflected their experiences of what makes surrogacy work. Surrogacy UK offers advice and support to anyone interested in surrogacy. 
  • Coram supports children and young people from birth to independence and offers advice and information to families considering adoption. 

Support for people concerned about genetic testing and hereditary ovarian cancer

Target Ovarian Cancer provides detailed information here

For additional support and information:

 

The information on this page is approved by the Information Standard scheme to ensure that it provides accurate and high-quality information.

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Last reviewed: November 2016
Next review: October 2019

Support event
Join us for Being Together in Wrexham
Event date:
4 April, 2017 - 09:30
We warmly invite you to join us for a relaxing, positive and informative day for women like you living with or beyond ovarian cancer. This free support event will take place on Tuesday 4 April 2017 from 9.30am - 4pm at the Ramada Plaza in Wrexham, with lunch and refreshments included. You will be...
Support event
Being Together in Sheffield
Event date:
4 May, 2017 - 10:00
We warmly invite you to join us for a relaxing, positive and informative day for women like you living with or beyond ovarian cancer. This free support event will take place on Thursday 4 May 2017 from 10am - 4pm at the Hilton Sheffield, Victoria Quays, with lunch and refreshments included. You...