Support services for family and friends

Find support services aimed at family or friends of those with a diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

On this page:

Supporting someone with ovarian cancer can be demanding both physically and emotionally. Your role, and even your relationship, may change. You're likely to experience a range of thoughts and emotions. It’s important to be aware of them and to get support if needed. Try not to push your feelings aside. Talking about how you feel and making sure that you take care of your own mental and physical wellbeing is important so that you don't feel overwhelmed. In order for you to be able to support your loved one, you need to be supported in turn.  

Cancer affects everyone around the person with the diagnosis. It's so important that everyone understands that they may need support. Receiving support can really help your loved one with the cancer diagnosis. It’s important their family and friends are being cared for too. - Peg and Rob

You may have lots of questions about ovarian cancer and what's likely to happen next. You may want to find out as much as possible about your loved one's diagnosis. You may want to talk openly and honestly about how you feel to help process these feelings. 

Everyone copes with things differently and it may be that you both don’t want to deal with it in the same way. Talk to your loved one and ask them how they want to deal with their diagnosis. If it's different to the way you want to deal with it, then try to agree a plan.

You can access help and advice on your own behalf from someone who is able to support you and meet your individual needs. It's important to do this as it will help you to both look after your own emotional wellbeing and help you offer your loved one better support.

How can Target Ovarian Cancer support you?

Our confidential specialist support line is here not only to support women with a diagnosis, but family and friends too. Our nurses are here to help you better understand your loved one’s diagnosis and support you with any practical concerns or anxieties you may have.  

If you've got any questions about ovarian cancer or just need someone to talk to, call the support line on 020 7923 5475. Our support line is open Monday to Friday 9am5pm, excluding bank holidays. If you don’t feel like talking, please use our contact form or email [email protected]   

You may find our free information guides helpful. They provide expert advice, practical information and emotional support on a range of topics. 

We also invite you to join the Ovarian Cancer Community, a kind, supportive Facebook group for everyone affected by ovarian cancer, including friends and family.  

Other types of professional support

Some people find that talking to a professional counsellor can help them process the diagnosis of their loved one and come to terms with any fears, concerns or difficult emotions. Many cancer charities also provide support and resources for family and friends.

How to access professional support:

Relationship support

Ovarian cancer and its treatment may change your relationship with your loved one. If you're finding it difficult or overwhelming to deal with these changes, there are professionals who specialise in helping with relationships:  

  • Relate offers counselling, support and information for all relationships.  
  • COSRT is the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists. They offer professional relationship support, with a specific focus on sexual relationships and have an online directory of members to find therapists in your area. 

Practical support

After your loved one's diagnosis you may have questions about the practical impacts on their life and yours. 

Citizens Advice helps people resolve their legal, money and other problems by providing free, independent and confidential advice on a range of topics. 

Support for carers

You might be a carer for a loved one already or find that you take on new roles and responsibilities after your friend or family member's diagnosis.  

The Carers Trust and Carers UK can give information for carers and can provide practical support.  

Macmillan has many resources and information for carers.

If you're caring for someone who is end of life (terminal), Marie Curie has support and information for you. 

Financial support

You might be worried about money because you're working less or not able to work when you're caring for someone. There’s financial help available:

  • If you look after someone who needs a lot of support, you may be able to get extra financial help from the government. This is called the Carer’s Allowance.
  • Macmillan has a benefit calculator to find out what financial benefits you're entitled to. 
  • Cancer Research UK has a list of helpful organisations to contact for financial information and advice.
  • Marie Curie has more information on financial support and benefits for carers of someone with a terminal illness. 

Watch our session on ovarian cancer and your finances led by Michael David, a benefits adviser from Maggie's:

Information and support on hereditary ovarian cancer

If a member of your family has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, there's a chance that their cancer is hereditary. This is when the cancer is caused by a variant (change) in one or more genes known to increase the risk of ovarian cancer and some other cancers. These genetic variations are passed on from your mother or father.  

Read more about hereditary ovarian cancer, including what to consider before getting tested, how to get tested and what this means for your family. 

More information and support

  • Macmillan has more resources and information for those supporting a loved one with cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK has information on how to support your loved one with cancer and take care of yourself.
  • Maggie’s centres has resources for family and friends of someone with a cancer diagnosis.
Rachel and Val Target Ovarian Cancer nurse advisers

Our support line is open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm

Last reviewed: May 2024

Next review: May 2027

To learn more about our review process, take a look at our information standards.