Support at home

You might need some care and support at home due to cancer or treatment. Lots of practical and emotional support is available.

GP and nursing support

Your GP manages your healthcare when you are at home. They can help with any medical problems that come up. They can also make referrals to a community service for you. The availability of the different community services may vary, depending on where you live.

District nurses

These nurses work in different places in your local area and may visit you in your home. They can:

  • give medicines or injections
  • check temperature, blood pressure and breathing
  • clean and dress wounds
  • monitor or set up drips
  • give emotional support
  • teach basic caring skills to family members where needed
  • get special equipment, such as commodes or bed pans

Community specialist palliative care nurses

Community specialist palliative care nurses include Macmillan nurses and hospice nurses. They specialise in symptom management such as pain control, sickness, and other cancer symptoms. They also give emotional support to you and your carers.

Marie Curie nurses

Marie Curie nurses give nursing care to people with advanced cancer in their own homes. They can visit during the day or spend the night in your home to give your carers a break.

Cancer Research UK nurses

For support and information, you can call the Cancer Research UK information nurses. They can give advice about who can help you and what kind of support is available. Freephone: 0808 800 4040 - Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Social workers

Social workers can help to support you with your situation at home. They can arrange:

  • home helps to help with shopping or housework
  • home care assistants for washing and dressing
  • meals on wheels
  • respite care

Your social worker can also help with money matters by checking you get all the benefits you are entitled to. Or they can advise you about charity grants for things like extra heating costs or special diets.

Contact a social worker yourself by getting in touch with your local social services office. Or ask your hospital nurse or your GP to refer you.


It can be very difficult coping with a diagnosis of cancer emotionally. Counselling can help you deal with those emotions and give you a chance to speak to someone who isn't a member of your family or a friend. 

Do speak to your specialist nurse there may be a counsellor at your hospital. 

Sex therapist

You may feel nervous about having sex after you have been diagnosed with vaginal cancer, or have had treatment.

A sex therapist helps people with sexual problems they are going through. They are qualified counsellors, doctors or healthcare professionals who have done extra training in helping people with difficulties relating to sex. 

Local support services

There is usually other help available but services can vary from place to place.

Sometimes local voluntary groups offer sitting services. Someone comes to stay with you while your relative goes out.

Good neighbour schemes offer befriending or practical help with shopping or transport.

Local cancer support groups often offer practical help. And they are a good source of information about services in your area. Ask your doctor or nurse about local groups.

The NHS has a service that tells you about local information and support.

  • Psychosexual health in gynecologic cancer
    FIGO Cancer report
    R Boa and S Grénman
    International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 2018. Volume 143, Issue S2, Pages 147-152

  • Palliative care in women's cancer care: Global challenges and advances
    J Cain and L Denny
    FIGO Cancer Report  
    International Journal Of Gynaecology and Obstetrics, 2018. Volume 143, Issue S2, Pages 153-158

Last reviewed: 
12 Apr 2021
Next review due: 
12 Apr 2024

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