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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I help my boyfriend through bowel cancer?

    I really do love my boyfriend cause he always there for me, after he found out he has cancer he doesn't want to chat with me and doesn't want me to text him also any more. What should I do?

    I want to be there for him and support him and see him, but he not allow me to do anything.

    He misses me a lot, just like I miss him, but he doesn't want me to face this problem with him, so what should I do?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Bowel Cancer Australia is the leading community-funded charity dedicated to prevention, early diagnosis, research, quality treatment and care for everyone affected by bowel cancer. We … View Profile

    Thank you for your question.

    Unfortunately people deal with their cancer diagnosis very differently. You have expressed to your partner you are there for him and you are happy to help where possible, and if he needs to talk, you are there to listen. That is really all you can do. If he knows you are there for him, in time, once he has comprehended and digested what might be ahead of him, he may then call on you for your support. He may just need time. Practical ways in which you can help do depend upon what treatments he is having.

    For example: if he requires surgery, simple things such as making meals and/or freezing them for him, washing and ironing his clothes, helping to clean the house, all of these things help to reduce the risk of lifting heavy objects which can strain the surgical site. The less lifting for the first 6 weeks, the better.I hope this helps to give you further ideas in ways you can help, once he is ready to receive your support.

    If you would like to talk with one of Bowel Cancer Australia's Nurse Advisers about any concerns you have and additional ways you may be able to help your partner through his bowel cancer journey please contact us at

    We hope this helps to answer your questions. 

    Please feel free to contact us anytime for individualised advice at: 
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nutrition Adviser - 
    OR Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser - 

    Kind Regards, 
    Bowel Cancer Australia Nurse Adviser 

    Please Note: The information provided by Bowel Cancer Australia’s Nurse and Nutritionist Advisory Services is intended for Australian residents as a reference guide only. It is not a substitute for independent professional advice and is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or disorder. 

    If you believe your symptoms are consistent with those of bowel cancer or a digestive illness, please consult your doctor. 

    Bowel Cancer Australia, its directors, officers or medical professionals shall not be liable to any person, company or any other body for any loss, direct or indirect or consequential on whatsoever account for any omission or negligent misstatement.

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    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about … View Profile

    It's not uncommon for people to react to bad news by shutting down and pushing others away - however very difficult for their loved ones! In addition to the excellent advice given by Tammy above, it will be important that you do give your boyfriend space - respect his need to come to terms with his diagnosis in his own way - but still let him know you are there for him if or when he is ready to talk or needs some help. To do this well you may need some support for yourself to manage the feelings you are no doubt experiencing about his becoming ill. Carers Australia provide up to six sessions of counselling with a counsellor close to where you live, this is for family members and partners of someone with an illness or disability. You may be able to access this for yourself - there is no cost to you for this service. Their details are at





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