Friends & partners

Being the friend or partner of someone who has cancer or is dealing with cancer in their family can be scary and confusing and throw you way out of your comfort zone. You want to support them, but might not know how. Canteen is here to help – these books, resources and videos provide advice for friends and partners that comes straight from other young people who have been through it.
When they have cancer
Everything is ticking along as normal, then boom, the world is tipped upside down. Someone you know – a best friend, school friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, teammate, housemate, work friend – has cancer. Talk about unexpected. These booklets are here to help you understand that a friend with cancer is still your friend… and that they will find it helpful just to have you there with them through the ups and downs. These booklets also provide advice on how to support a friend with cancer.
When someone in their family has cancer
You’ve found out that someone in your friend’s family – their mum, dad, carer, brother or sister – has a life-threatening illness. You may feel confused and helpless, but your friend might need people around them now more than ever. This booklet is here to help you understand how you can be there for them.
When someone in their family has died
Every cancer story is different. However it played out in your friend’s family, they have probably already experienced a lot of big changes, heaps of uncertainty and a huge range of strange and confusing emotions. But the death of a parent or brother or sister from cancer is not the end of the story. It can be the start of a new journey through grief that will bring some of the toughest challenges your friend will ever face. You’re not expected to be able to make everything better. But this book is here to help you understand how you can support a friend who is grieving.
Supporting friends through cancer
This animated video series offers practical advice and tips on how to support a friend or loved one who is impacted by cancer. The videos cover topics like what your partner or friend’s cancer diagnosis means, supporting your friend through grief, things to avoid saying, listening tips and more.
Two friends supporting each other through their cancer journey, for how to support a friend with cancer page

Get involved in a study on friendship

The "Help Me Help You” study is exploring how friends can best support a young person diagnosed with cancer. We are looking for people aged 16-25 who have a history of a cancer diagnosis, or a friend with a history of a cancer diagnosis to take part.

What is involved?

About 1 hour of your time sharing your experiences in an online interview or focus group. You will be reimbursed with a gift card for your time.

How do I get involved?

Please follow this link to register your interest: or email Bec at [email protected]