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Resources and support

There are lots of organisations, support groups and helpful books to help you understand pain control and get the treatment you need. 

Cancer Research UK information and support

Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world outside the USA. We fund research on all aspects of cancer from its causes to treatment and prevention.

We are committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer, health professionals and the general public. We also have a range of health awareness leaflets.

Nurse freephone helpline: 0808 800 4040, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Admin phone number: 020 7242 0200

Cancer Chat is our online forum where you can share experiences.

General support and information organisations

The Medical Advisory Service offers information and advice on medical and health care matters.

General Medical Helpline: 020 8994 9874 (Mondays to Fridays, 6pm to 8pm)

For general health advice and information.

NHS 111 gives information if you need fast medical help but its not a 999 emergency.

Phone: 111

Confidential telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland.

NHS Helpline: 0800 22 44 88 (8am to 10pm – for details of pharmacies, GP practices and dentists in Scotland. Can also give information about illnesses, treatments and NHS services)

NHS 24 Helpline: 08454 24 24 24 (for when you are feeling ill and your doctor's surgery is closed)

Macmillan Cancer Support improves the lives of people affected by cancer. They provide practical, medical and financial support and push for better cancer care. They provide booklets on cancer and treatments and run a helpline providing cancer information and benefits advice.

Phone: 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm – information available in other languages)
Textphone: 0808 808 0121

Organisations that provide equipment

This is an online shop for daily living equipment for the disabled community, older people, or those who look after people with difficulty getting around.

Phone: 01273 719889

Offers mobility aids at low cost to help both elderly people and disabled adults and children. Has an extensive range of daily living aids and disability equipment. 

Phone: 0845 5194734 Monday to Friday, 9am to  5pm – lo-call rates apply from a landline
Mobile number: 01772 675040

Specific symptoms organisations

A support group for anyone who suffers from chronic pain. They deliver self management training to help those with chronic pain.

Freephone: 0800 783 6059 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 4.30pm)

Provides support, advice and help in various ways to people affected by chronic pain and those close to them.

Tel: 01362 820750
PainLine 0845 6031593 (From 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday)

Offers information and support to people with pain and those who care for them. They run a helpline staffed by volunteers, and have an online forum called HealthUnlocked for members to share experiences. You can listen to podcasts which feature interviews with experts and people who are managing their pain. You can also subscribe to their magazine, Pain Matters.

Telephone: 0131 669 5951
Helpline: 0300 123 0789 (Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm)

Books, factsheets and DVDs about cancer

Everyone's Guide to Cancer Therapy (5th edition)
Andrew H Ko, Malin Dollinger and Ernest H Rosenbaum
Publishers: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2008
ISBN: 978-0740768576
This book covers how cancer is diagnosed, treated, and managed day to day.

100 Questions and Answers About Cancer Symptoms and Cancer Treatment Side Effects (2nd edition)
Joanne Frankel Kelvin and Leslie B Tyson
Publishers: Jones and Bartlett Publishing, 2010
ISBN: 978-0763777609
An American book which gives both doctor’s and patient’s views on coping with the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment. It has information about treatment for pain, nausea, tiredness, and other symptoms.

100 Questions and Answers About Caring for Family or Friends With Cancer (2nd edition)
Susannah Rose and Richard Hara
Publishers: Jones and Bartlett Publishing, 2009
ISBN: 978-0763762575
An American book which gives information about caring for someone with cancer, including how to support them when they have symptoms or side effects.

How to Eat Well When You Have Cancer
Jane Freeman
Sheldon Press, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-84709-141-3
Written by a cancer dietitian, this is a practical nutritional handbook for people with cancer. Filled with helpful tips and recipes.

Complete Guide to Nutrition for Cancer Patients: Eating Well, Staying Well During and After Cancer (2nd edition)
Abby Bloch, Barbara Grant, Kathryn Hamilton and Cynthia Thomson
Publisher: American Cancer Society, 2009
ISBN: 978-0944235782
An American book, but most of the information is relevant to the UK. It covers issues such as preventing weight loss and coping with dehydration, fatigue, and infection. It also discusses eating problems and digestion issues, such as swallowing problems, feeling sick and dealing with mouth sores. Focuses on survivorship and how to eat well after treatment.

The Mindful Way Through Depression
Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn
Publisher: The Guilford Press, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59385-128-6
An American book, but 2 of the authors are British researchers who are helping to promote mindfulness based cognitive therapy courses for people experiencing stress and depression in the UK. A CD of guided meditations is included with the book.

Lymphoedema: Advice on Self-management and Treatment
Peter Mortimer and Jacqueline Todd
Beaconsfield Publishers Ltd (2007)
ISBN-10: 0906584590

From Macmillan Cancer Support

Macmillan Cancer Line: 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm; information available in other languages)
Textphone: 0808 808 0121

  • Managing breathlessness
  • Relax and breathe CD
  • Controlling cancer pain
  • Controlling the symptoms of cancer
  • Coping with hair loss
  • Coping with fatigue
  • Healthy eating and cancer
  • How are you feeling? The emotional effects of cancer
  • Understanding cancer research trials (clinical trials)
  • Understanding lymphoedema


From The British Pain Society

Tel: 020 7269 7840
Fax: 020 7831 0859

  • Managing Cancer Pain – information for patients
  • Help the Aged – Pain in Older People: Reflections and Experiences from an older person's perspective
  • Intrathecal drug delivery systems for treating pain and spasticity – information for patients
  • Managing pain effectively using over the counter (OTC) medicines
  • Pain management programmes for adults – information for patients
  • Pain and problem drug use – information for patients
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation for pain – information for patients
  • Use of medicines outside of their UK marketing authorisation in pain management and palliative medicine – information for patients
  • Opioid medicines for persistent pain – information for patients
  • Understanding and Managing Pain


From My Name Is Not Cancer

Call 07808832192

  • My name is NOT cancer – a leaflet aiming to help people understand what it is like to have cancer and to try not to be defined by it


From The Lymphoedema Support Network

Telephone: 020 7351 0990 (Administration)
Fax: 020 7349 9809

Information leaflets include:

  • Teenage lymphoedema
  • Early childhood lymphoedema
  • Lipoedema
  • Head, face and neck lymphoedema
  • Genital lymphoedema
  • Management of oedema in advancing disease
  • Multi layer lymphoedema bandaging (MLLB)
  • Emotional and social aspects of lymphoedema
  • The use of KinesioTape in lymphoedema management
  • Management of cellulitis in lymphoedema
  • Skin care
  • Healthy eating
  • Recreational exercise with lymphoedema
  • Holidays and travel
  • Reducing the risk of lower limb lymphoedema
  • Swollen feet and legs
  • The use of compression garments in lymphoedema management
  • Manual drainage for people with lymphoedema
  • What is cellulitis
  • General information about lymphoedema
  • Reducing the risk of upper limb lymphoedema
  • Breast and truncal oedema
  • Coping with lymphoedema following a mastectomy or lumpectomy
  • Lymphoedema associated with chronic venous insufficiences
  • Diuretics and lymphoedema
  • DVDs include:
  • Self management techniques for arm lymphoedema
  • Self management techniques for leg lymphoedema


From Breast Cancer Care

Tel: 0345 092 0800

  • Booklet - Living with lymphoedema after breast cancer (BCC5)

If you would like to recommend a book

You can recommend a book that you have found helpful by using our feedback form. It helps us if you include the title, author, publisher's name and year, and the ISBN number.

Information and help

Dangoor sponsorship

About Cancer generously supported by Dangoor Education since 2010.