Ascites resources and support

There are lots of organisations and support groups to help you cope with the symptoms and side effects caused by cancer and its treatment.

Cancer Research UK information and support

Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world outside the USA. We fund research on all aspects of cancer from its causes to prevention and treatment.

We are committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer. As well as looking at the information on this website you can call our nurse freephone helpline on 0808 800 4040. They are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Or you can send them a question online.

Cancer Chat is our online forum where you can share experiences.

General support and information organisations

NHS website

For general health advice and information if you live in England.

NHS 111

Gives information if you need fast medical help but it's not a 999 emergency. 

Phone: 111

NHS Inform

Gives information about illnesses, treatments and NHS services for people in Scotland.

NHS 24

Is a confidential telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland. It provides urgent advice out of hours.

Phone: 111

NHS 111 Wales

Gives information if you need fast medical help but it's not a 999 emergency. They also provide general health advice and information on their website.

Phone: 111

HSC website

For information on health and social care services available in Northern Ireland.

nidirect - health and wellbeing

Gives information about illnesses and practical health and social care advice.

Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that gives practical, medical and financial support to people with cancer in the UK. Its helpline gives guidance on cancer and advice on benefits. It also publishes booklets about cancer and treatments. Information is available in other languages.

Freephone: 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am to 8pm)
Contact email form

Organisations that provide equipment

There are many commercial companies that sell equipment online, via catalogues or in shops. Here are some tips when shopping around:

  • Ask an occupational therapist what they think might be best to meet your needs – your specialist nurse (CNS), district nurse or GP can refer you to an occupational therapist if you don’t have one.
  • Compare prices between different companies.
  • Check if you can return the item if it’s not exactly what you are looking for (this is usually if it is unused and in its original packaging).
  • Look for a number to call if you are unsure about how to safely fit or use the equipment.

You can borrow toileting aids or a wheelchair short term from the British Red Cross. This might be for free, or they may ask for a donation in your area

British Red Cross services vary in different parts of the country. They provide medical equipment, transport and hospital escort services, home emergency personal care and home respite care. There are branches throughout the UK.

Support Line: 0808 196 3651 (Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm, Wednesday 10am to 8pm)

Living Made Easy (formerly The Disabled Living Foundation) gives information and advice on equipment and aids to help with daily living.

Helpline: 0300 999 0004


Specific symptoms organisations

The Bladder and Bowel Community supports people living with bladder and bowel disorders and has a telephone helpline. The service is confidential. They can also give you information about stoma products.

They have a 'Just Can't Wait' card which allows holders access to toilets in shops and when you are out. It's free to order on the website.

Forward House
17 High Street
B95 5AA

Home Delivery Service Sign Up: 0800 031 5406

Home Delivery Service Existing Customers: 0800 031 5407


This is a UK support group for people with a colostomy. It provides information and support and booklets to anyone who has or is about to have a colostomy.

Free helpline: 0800 328 4257 (24 hrs a day, 7 days a week)
General enquires: 0118 939 1537 (between 09:00 and 17:00)

A charity that is being run entirely by volunteers. They provide support, advice, and help to people affected by chronic pain and those close to them.

Telephone helpline (Painline): 0345 603 1593 (Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm)

Write to: Action on Pain, 2 Mill Close, Terrington St Clement, Norfolk, PE34 4JG

A support group for anyone who suffers from chronic pain. They deliver self management training to help those with chronic pain.

Freephone: 0800 783 6059 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 4.30 pm)

Pain Concern offers information and support to people with pain and those who care for them. They run a helpline staffed by volunteers and have an online forum called HealthUnlocked for members to share experiences. You can listen to podcasts that feature interviews with experts and people managing their pain. You can also subscribe to their newsletter, Pain Matters.

Helpline: 0300 123 0789

A number of different cancers can cause ascites. You can find the details of support groups on the resources page of each cancer type.

Last reviewed: 
16 Apr 2024
Next review due: 
16 Apr 2027

Related links