Useful resources > Cancer and exercise

Cancer and exercise

Keeping active before, during and after cancer treatment can help both your physical and mental health. Taking regular exercise has so many benefits including helping to reduce fatigue, improving mood and positivity, increasing strength, balance and mobility as well as helping to maintain independence.

Not sure where to start? 

Whether you’re an active gym goer or prefer a peaceful stroll in the park, the changes to your body during cancer treatment can be unsettling. That is where Big C comes in; we can support you alongside your clinical team to become or stay active in a safe way.

A lady sitting on the floor in exercise wear, watching an exercise class on the television.

Try our current programmes

Tackle cancer

Join us at the Football Development Centre for a walking football and support group for people affected by cancer.

We meet every Wednesday from 11am – 1pm for an hour of relaxed walking football, followed by a chance to talk with others, meet new people and make friends.

A man in football boots standing in a playing field.

Get Moving

We have a wellbeing support programme to help increase your physical activity with a weekly online exercise class and regular 1:1 support.

A woman stretching, touching her toes whilst listening to a fitness podcast.

“Big C has given me something to do outside the grey world of cancer and allowed me to mix with other people during the pandemic and reconnect with the world outside”

GET MOVING participant

Gentle exercises to try at home

You can do these movements in your own time and at your own pace, and there are tips in the videos about pacing yourself. If you feel you need support to increase your physical activity safely, consult your cancer care team or GP.

A lady doing gentle exercise sitting on a chair with her arms out and her eyes closed.

Gentle pilates wellbeing workout

Two people doing a seated pilates class with their arms out in front of them

Gentle seated wellbeing workout

Online support

Our Online Support Hub offers a full range of support virtually, ensuring you can still access our services from the comfort of your own home.

Ask the Nurse

Did you attend an appointment and have questions you didn’t want to ask, or not mention something that is bothering you?

FAQs

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions about the support we offer. If you can’t see the answer you’re looking for, just get in touch.

Latest fundraising and event news

Ex-NCFC players return to the pitch for Charity Football Match in aid of Big C

Players including Grant Holt, Simeon Jackson, Cedric Anselin, Wes Hoolahan, Simon Lappin and Mike Milligan joined the squad on Saturday 18 May as the Big C XI took on Help Delete Cancer at Lowestoft Town FC.

Read more

Get ready for an exciting summer full of fundraising events

This summer, Big C invites you to get together with your family and friends and take on one of our many fundraising events and help raise vital funds for those affected by cancer!

Read more

100 Mile Easter Walk for Canaries Legend Grant Holt and Local Recruitment Agency ARC in Aid of Big C

Canaries legend Grant Holt has teamed up with local recruitment firm ARC to walk an incredible 100 miles in aid of Big C Cancer Charity, starting on Easter Monday.

Read more

Family fun days raise awareness

A weekend of family fun days is taking place on 6-7 April in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, offering people the opportunity to learn more about their bodies, squeeze through a giant inflatable Big Bum and jump into life-sized educational arcade games as part of a health awareness initiative.

Read more

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Cancer and nutrition

Cancer and nutrition

Eating and drinking a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight before, during and after cancer treatment can help your body to cope with the treatment better, fight off infections and reduce the risk of chronic health conditions developing such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. 

What is a balanced diet? 

A balanced diet is made up of the five basic food groups – vegetables and fruit, protein, whole grains, milk and dairy, and fats and oils.   

Somebody writing in a book in-front of lots of cooking ingredients.

Join our Nourish & Nurture programme

Nourish & Nurture is Big C’s nutrition and wellness programme for all those diagnosed or living with the effects of cancer and those that care for them. The 5 interactive sessions provide advice on healthy eating, how best to manage treatment side effects with diet, practical skills, and physical activity advice. Supported by Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Dieticians and Quadram Institute.  

Somebody baking at a Nutrition and fitness event.

“The resources were great, some great recipes and I loved the journal which is now full up! I also enjoyed the exercises with the physiotherapist.”

helen, nourish & nurture participant

Healthy recipes to try at home

Be inspired by some of the healthy recipes the Quadram Institute has created. Whether you’d like to try the lentil, bean and kale salad or the stuffed mushrooms, there’s plenty to whet your appetite.

A picture of some delicious food made by a Big C volunteer.

Lentil, bean & kale salad

A fresh zingy salad, perfect for a light lunch or to share with friends.

A picture of some delicious food made by a Big C volunteer.

Stuffed mushrooms

Try these mushrooms stuffed with spinach, breadcrumbs, garlic & herbs

Online support

Our Online Support Hub offers a full range of support virtually, ensuring you can still access our services from the comfort of your own home.

Ask the Nurse

Did you attend an appointment and have questions you didn’t want to ask, or not mention something that is bothering you?

FAQs

Browse our Frequently Asked Questions about the support we offer. If you can’t see the answer you’re looking for, just get in touch.

Latest fundraising and event news

Ex-NCFC players return to the pitch for Charity Football Match in aid of Big C

Players including Grant Holt, Simeon Jackson, Cedric Anselin, Wes Hoolahan, Simon Lappin and Mike Milligan joined the squad on Saturday 18 May as the Big C XI took on Help Delete Cancer at Lowestoft Town FC.

Read more

Get ready for an exciting summer full of fundraising events

This summer, Big C invites you to get together with your family and friends and take on one of our many fundraising events and help raise vital funds for those affected by cancer!

Read more

100 Mile Easter Walk for Canaries Legend Grant Holt and Local Recruitment Agency ARC in Aid of Big C

Canaries legend Grant Holt has teamed up with local recruitment firm ARC to walk an incredible 100 miles in aid of Big C Cancer Charity, starting on Easter Monday.

Read more

Family fun days raise awareness

A weekend of family fun days is taking place on 6-7 April in Great Yarmouth and Gorleston, offering people the opportunity to learn more about their bodies, squeeze through a giant inflatable Big Bum and jump into life-sized educational arcade games as part of a health awareness initiative.

Read more

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Cancer in the workplace

Cancer in the workplace

With more than 8,000 people diagnosed with cancer every year across our region, there are few employers who are not affected by cancer in the workplace in some way.

How can Big C help your organisation?

Organisations have a vital role to play in providing a caring and supportive work environment to improve the wellbeing of those individuals affected. The normality of everyday life is vital and the workplace is a big part of this for many. Big C offers support to local businesses, providing support and education opportunities.

Understanding how cancer may impact on staff and colleagues in your workplace can help you to provide them with the right support at work. For your teams, going through cancer with a colleague is something that will affect their wellbeing and a supportive work environment will make all the difference. We can help your organisation achieve this.

Ensuring your team’s wellbeing

We can support you to ensure the wellbeing of your team in a variety of ways including:

  • Talking to teams and colleagues on cancer specific subjects, e.g. symptom awareness and the different types of cancer
  • Supporting your HR team on topics such as the emotional and physical effects of cancer, employees returning to work and, the effect on the wider team and more
  • Providing support and information in helping people deal with managing end of life care
  • Offering 1:1 support for someone affected by cancer either at a Big C Centre or at work
  • Hosting education days with our Health and Education team, to help your employees learn more about cancer

Contact us to find out how we can help support your workplace.

0800 092 7640

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Care for a palliative diagnosis

Care for a palliative diagnosis

When you are diagnosed as ‘palliative’, it means that the cancer cannot be cured, but with the right treatments and support, your symptoms and side effects can be kept under control to help you continue living your life as normally as possible. This can be a really unsettling time for everyone, and at times you may feel confused about what it all means.

How can Big C help?

Big C is here to support you and your family through this difficult time. The team is available to listen as well as give advice on a wide variety of topics including physical concerns, spiritual care, and practical worries, such as finances.

Practical worries, such as finances, wills, legal information and ensuring everything is in place you need, by having some of those difficult conversations. We offer specialist advise services to address all of these and any other concerns, you or your loved ones may have.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care is care given to improve the quality of life for patients and their families. It’s an approach that addresses the person as a whole, not just the disease.

Organisations across Norfolk and Waveney are working closely to develop palliative care services, by investing in education and training of staff in palliative and end of life care. This will result in improved palliative and end of life care for patients and their families.

A person comforting another by putting their hand on top of theirs

What does palliative care mean for you?

Your doctor or specialist team would have advised you that your condition has moved to a palliative phase, where it is no longer curable. There may be treatment options available to ensure you are comfortable and are able to carry on with the things you enjoy doing. 

Palliative care encompasses physical, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of your needs.

A picture of somebody holding a drink in a white mug.

Does it mean I’m going to die?

There is a difference between palliative and end of life (terminal care). Palliative means your condition is no longer curable, but you are not at the end of your life. Those approaching the end of their lives, usually have a 6 month to 1-year prognosis.

A close up of a tea light candle with other candles blurred out in the background

Find the right support group for you

There are various Big C support groups that can help you, specifically around dealing with palliative care diagnosis, including groups for men, women and carers as well as a specific palliative care support group.

A group of people chatting in a Big C support centre.

Further support

A close up of a grey towel rolled up on a therapy bed
Complementary therapies

We can offer complementary therapy treatments such as reflexology to help relax you. From reflexology to massage and relaxation to reiki. 

Somebody talking to a therapist.
Counselling

We provide specialist counsellors and advisors to support you and your family with the emotional aspect; this can be dealing with emotions, such as depression, fear and anxiety. 

An image of a patient, laying in hospital having their hand held by a visitor.
Frequently asked questions

Take a look at some of the most common questions we’re asked, and if you can’t find the answer to what you’re looking for, just get in touch.

Palliative care is not about the last few days, or hours of your life. It’s about ensuring your life is as good as it can be right until the end.

We’ve helped people like Louise

Following a routine mammogram screening, Louise was told that a lump was found in her breast, resulting in a breast cancer diagnosis in August 2019. This is her story…

Photo of Louise Prentice sitting in a chair receiving treatment

Browse

We can help you work through the maze of cancer information.

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Cancer and loneliness

Cancer and loneliness

Living with cancer can at times bring with it lots of different emotions, which can include feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. For many, even those with a large family and broad friendship circle, cancer can feel lonely. 

Here for you

It can be difficult to feel that people fully understand you and grasp what you are experiencing. It may be that you like to keep things private and fear people will treat you differently. Or simply that you don’t know many people or that your loved ones aren’t near.

Our Support Centres offer a safe environment for you to be able to drop-in or book an appointment and have someone to talk to confidentially. Or, if you feel more comfortable at home, we can talk on the phone or online too.

A photograph taken behind of two people talking.

Join a support group

Our support groups at Big C provide you with the opportunity to meet other people who are living with cancer, to share stories and support one another.

A group of people chatting in a Big C support centre.

Support from other organisations

There are some fantastic charities, community groups and organisations who hold events, activities and have resources that may be helpful and sometimes trying something different can be a positive experience. We’ve put together some useful organisations and websites for you to explore.

A woman laughing while holding a cup of coffee

Ideas that may ease loneliness

  • Join a local interest group
  • Visit or call one of our Centres
  • Join a Big C support group
  • Sign up to receive visits or phone calls from a local befriending organisation
  • Recognise times when you may feel most alone and plan things to keep you busy
  • Plan to do things you enjoy
  • Learn new ways to keep in contact with people
  • Visit your local library and find out about their array of free activities

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Look Good Feel Better Workshops

Look Good Feel Better workshops

Look Good Feel Better (LGFB) is a charity that runs workshops across the UK helping men and women cope with the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment. Sessions are available in-person and online.

Working in partnership

Big C is proud to work in partnership with LGFB to offer these workshops in our Norwich Big C Centre to help boost the emotional wellbeing of those going through cancer.

The workshops, which are currently held every month, are led by trained volunteers who will provide advice on issues relating to skincare, shaving and make-up which often include colour correction, dry skin and loss of eyebrows and eyelashes. 

The advice given is practical and demonstrated using products donated by the charity’s corporate partners and teaches the skills and tips to counteract these concerns.

In addition to the practical support and learning, the group sessions provide a relaxed, fun and safe environment for shared experiences which can be beneficial as those under going treatment can find it easier to talk to others in a similar situation.

Men’s LGFB workshops

These group workshops provide expert advice on skincare during and post treatment; tips for shaving safely during treatment along with general grooming; the importance of sun protection, and how to deal with scars.

They are a great way to meet others on a similar journey to share experiences and ideas with. Everybody attending is gifted with a bag of full size skincare and grooming products to try out during the workshop and take home with them. 

Two men at a look good feel better workshop

Women’s LGFB workshops

These sessions offer step by step advice on skincare and makeup application to complete a natural, radiant look.

Learn practical tips and techniques, including how to enhance sparse eyebrows or loss of eyelashes, to help you look and feel like you again.

A women in a colourful headscarf applying make up in a mirror.

“I don’t think it’s just about putting makeup on people, it’s about bringing people together and giving them a really lovely time, where you feel very special. You feel very looked after.”

LOOK GOOD FEEL BETTER PARTICIPANT

Further support

Somebody looking into a mirror holding a wig in her hands, smiling.
Help with headwear

Cancer treatment affects everyone in different ways, and how your hair is affected depends on the type of treatment you have.

A close up of somebody who is walking through a forests' boots.
Cancer and exercise

Keeping active before, during and after cancer treatment can help both your physical and mental health.

A patient with their hand in the air in a fist.
Cancer and appearance

Going through cancer treatment can often bring with it changes in your body and appearance. We know this can be an unsettling time but we’re here to help you through this time of change.

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Cancer and your appearance

Cancer and your appearance

Going through cancer treatment can often bring with it changes in your body and appearance. We know this can be an unsettling time but we’re here to help you through this time of change.

Worried about hair loss?

For those who experience hair loss during cancer treatment, it can be an unsettling time. Whilst some decide not to wear headwear, others choose to wear a hat, headscarf, wig or turban. That’s where Big C comes in. We can help you work through the many options and choices available to you.

Look Good Feel Better

Look Good Feel Better is a charity that runs workshops across the UK helping men and women cope with the physical and emotional side effects of cancer treatment, through skincare and make-up workshops.

Two ladies applying make up together

Cancer and body image

Appearance is often a key part of our identity and if your appearance changes it can affect you in many ways.

Depending on your cancer and the surgery or treatments you need your appearance or view of your appearance can change. 

A lady at a wig fitting appointment, holding a blond wig

Changes to your appearance

Some of these changes can include…

Weight

This can either be a change in weight gain or loss

Physique

Scars of alterations to your physique following surgery

Speech

You may experience speech difficulties

Confidence

Having lower confidence or self esteem

Stoma

Learning to live with a stoma

Hair & skin

Changes to your hair and skin, including hair loss

We’re here to help. You can book support in the following ways:

Call

Call us on 0800 092 7640 to chat to our support team, Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Email

Email us on support@big-c.co.uk letting us know what support you need.

Speak to your GP

Have a chat with your GP or healthcare team, who will be able to get in touch with us on your behalf.

“Whatever your concerns, Big C will always do its best to help, by finding the answers to the questions most important to you, and trying to find the right support services, individual to your needs.”

TONIA, CHARITABLE OPERATIONS AREA MANAGER

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.

Useful resources > Help with headwear

Help with headwear

Cancer treatment affects everyone in different ways, and how your hair is affected depends on the type of treatment you have. Your health care team will explain any physical changes such as hair loss and what to expect from your personal treatment regime and we’re hear to help you with headwear.

Losing your hair

Some people may lose their hair, while others may experience hair ‘breakage,’ or hair thinning, and others may not lose their hair at all.

Learning that you may experience hair loss or thinning can be difficult to adjust to and cause a variety of emotions. We’re here to support you through this. Exploring the headwear options that are available and speaking to someone about how you are feeling can help you to gain a little sense of control around your hair loss.

For hair thinning you can use the same options as for hair loss but may also be able to speak to a hairdresser about cuts that can make the most of your hair and help it to appear thicker, try partial wigs or hair pieces, or use accessories and headbands to help disguise hair thinning.

How can Big C help?

Big C is here to listen to your thoughts and concerns, and help you work through any worries you may have about hair loss and provide you with support. You’re welcome to drop-in at any of our centres or hubs, where we have trained staff and volunteers who can spend some time with you to talk things through.

In our centres, we have an extensive range of headwear for everyone, which we update depending on the season and trends. Our headwear includes beanies, turbans, hats, scarves, long tie scarves and accessories, which are available to purchase. Alongside this, we also have free, or for a small donation, pre-used headwear to test out or take home with you.

Our support team is here to help you understand tying and styling your headwear. We can talk you through the different options and get a feel for your style. Our team can guide you on the most suitable headwear depending on your lifestyle and activity level.

“Having a safe place to try on headwear in a nice and judgement free zone makes a real difference. Having such a nice selection of headwear to buy and even donated headwear to take away gives me some much needed confidence.”

SERVICE USER

Types of headwear

Hats, beanies and turbans

These can be a great option as they are ready to just place on your head and come in a large range of colours and styles that feel comfortable, look stylish and are super easy to wear.

Big C patient wearing a pink headscarf

Scarves

Scarves come in a wide variety of colours and patterns and can be worn alone or to layer over a beanie to add a splash of colour or individual flare.

Our team can show you how to tie scarves and how to add them to headwear to introduce your own personal style; this also gives you a wider choice of how to style your headwear.

A lady wearing a blue patterned scarf

Sleep caps and wig liners

Sleep caps are seam free soft beanies that can be worn at night to keep the head warm, they can also help to ease any sensitivity of the scalp whilst sleeping or offer a comfortable option for wearing around the home.

Wig liners are worn under wigs to help with comfort and to aid cooling of the scalp.

A lady wearing a brightly coloured sleep cap

NHS wig clinic

You may decide that wearing a wig is the best option for you. We host NHS Wig Clinics at our NNUH Centre. These sessions are booked and arranged through the Weybourne Unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (as they require an NHS referral) and are held in a private room in the Big C Centre.

In these sessions you will be able to try on a number of different wigs and test out styles to suit you.

If you are not being treated at the NNUH, speak to your Cancer Nurse Specialist to find out where your nearest Wig Clinic is held.

A mannequin head with a long brown curly wig

Support

At our centres across the region, we offer support to anyone affected by cancer.

About us

We are a local, people-first charity providing outstanding cancer support.

Research

We fund vital, world-class research to help prevent, diagnose and treat cancer.

Let’s keep in touch

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive news and updates from Big C.