If you look after a friend or family member with cancer you may not think of yourself as a carer. You may say 'I'm just being their husband, partner, daughter or friend ...' Yet the support you provide is vital: from helping with shopping, dressing, or taking them to the hospital, to being there when they need to talk.
Sharon Blinston cares for her mum Wendy and lives with her husband and two sons. Sharon went from working full-time to part-time last year to fit in her caring duties.
She says: 'A lot of people don't use the term carer because they don't see it as their role. It's just looking after your parent in the same way you'd expect to be looked after.'
"It was great I could phone the Macmillan specialist nurse when my mum had chemo burns and I didn't know what we should do."
And because they don't see themselves as carers they miss out on the support available.
Macmillan Cancer Support is there for everyone who looks after a loved one with cancer. The charity says getting the support you deserve is crucial to your health and wellbeing. And if it's in place, you can put all your focus on caring.
Macmillan has a range of services to help you look after yourself – from free in-depth information, including booklets for carers, to financial guidance and support with work issues. The Macmillan team of experts includes counsellors, benefits advisers and social workers who can all make sure no one has to cope alone.
Sharon says, 'It was great I could phone the Macmillan specialist nurse when my mum had chemo burns and I didn't know what we should do.
Macmillan is a source of information and I feel a lot more knowledgeable about my mum's cancer. I'm not as frightened as I was.'
Find out more about the support you could receive at macmillan.org.uk/carers. Or call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.
Macmillan is also working to make sure the Care Bill, currently being debated in parliament, gives carers the support they need and introduces new carers' rights.
Sharon says, 'The government needs to look at all those who are carers and think if they weren't doing that who would help people with cancer?'
Get involved in the campaign by visiting macmillan.org.uk/carebill