General cancer organisations
This page gives information about organisations and websites that help and support people with cancer. There is information about
- Using this page
- Cancer Research UK information and support
- Cancer support and information organisations
- Finance and equipment organisations
- Women's cancer organisations
- Young people's cancer information and support
Cancer Research UK
407 St John Street
London EC1V 4AD
Admin phone number: 020 7242 0200
Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world, outside the USA. We are the European leader in the development of new anti-cancer drugs. We fund research on all aspects of the disease from its causes, to treatment and prevention, education and psychological support for patients.
Cancer Research UK is also committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer, health professionals and the general public. We do this through our websites CancerHelp UK, News and resources and through our range of health awareness leaflets.
Cancer Chat is Cancer Research UK's free online discussion forum for people affected by cancer. It is a safe space to talk to other people in similar situations, and find information and support. You can find the forum at www.cancerchat.org.uk.
If you have a question about cancer, and you are in the UK or Ireland, you can contact our team of specialist cancer information nurses using this form, or call freephone on 0808 800 40 40.
Action Cancer is a local charity committed to fighting cancer since 1973. Action Cancer has a full-time clinic and mobile unit for early detection and screening and offers one-to-one counselling. Services are free. Action Cancer also funds a leading research team at Queen's University and the University of Ulster.
This is a UK wide network of people affected by cancer, supported by Macmillan Cancer Support. CancerVOICES can help you use your experience of cancer to help shape the future of cancer care. This might be through getting involved in local or national groups or taking part in surveys or research.
Macmillan Cancer Support
89 Albert Embankment
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 helplines providing cancer information and benefits advice.
Maggie’s Centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Highlands, Fife and Charing Cross Hospital, London, offer care and support to people affected by cancer. Each Centre is beside an NHS cancer hospital and is run by professional, specialist staff who can discuss any aspect of cancer. You can join a support group, take part in weekly sessions like relaxation and stress management or learn about nutrition and health. Or you can just visit to have a cup of tea, a biscuit and a friendly chat.
Marie Curie Cancer Care
89, Albert Embankment
Phone: 0800 716 146
Runs 10 centres (hospices) throughout the UK, and a nationwide Marie Curie nursing service, providing hands-on care for patients in their own homes throughout the day or night, free of charge.
National Cancer Institute
This is a detailed American site with information for both people with cancer and health professionals.
Penny Brohn Cancer Care (formerly the Bristol Cancer Help Centre)
Chapel Pill Lane
Helpline: 0845 123 23 10 (Mon to Fri, 9.30am to 5pm)
Switchboard: 01275 370 100
Provides a programme of complementary care - The Bristol Approach - to people with cancer and their loved ones.
Tak Tent Cancer Support Scotland
75 Shelley Road
Phone: 0800 652 4531
Offers information, support, education and care for cancer patients, their relatives and friends, and health professionals. Network of support groups throughout Scotland.
Tenovus, the cancer charity
43 The Parade
Phone: 02920 768 850
Freephone helpline 0808 808 10 10
Provides an information service on all aspects of cancer, and practical and emotional support for cancer patients and their families. Freephone Cancer Helpline staffed by nurses, social worker and counsellor. Drop-in Tenovus cancer information at Velindre Hospital, Cardiff CF14 2TL.
Cancer Focus Northern Ireland
40-44 Eglantine Avenue
Phone: 0800 783 3339 (helpline)
Phone: 028 9066 3281 (admin)
Provides a cancer information helpline, information and resource centre, public and professional education. Rehabilitation programmes and support groups for patients and relatives.
This is a well written site with basic cancer information. It also has a lot of other information on how to use health services, such as getting second opinions and patient rights.
This site provides information about many medical conditions, including some common cancers. All information is based on published evidence and the site includes references for all its information.
Health Talk Online
The cancer section of this website contains video and audio clips of people with the main types of cancer, so that you can share in their stories.
There is an adult cancer section at www.healthtalkonline.org/Cancer, a teenage cancer section at www.youthhealthtalk.org/,and a section about taking part in clinical trials at www.healthtalkonline.org/medical_research/clinical_trials
The Cancer Counselling Trust
The Cancer Counselling Trust has now closed but their website gives details of other organisations that provide counselling services.
A website from the British Medical Association, providing information about NHS changes, GP services and how patients can get involved.
Department for Work and Pensions
Benefits Enquiry Line (BEL)
Phone: 0800 882200
Textphone for those with hearing difficulties: 0800 243355
This is an advice and information line for disabled people and carers about benefits and how to claim them. You can also get benefits advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or Social Services. Both have local offices and you can find contact details in your local phone book or on the internet.
Gives free and impartial information and advice about products to make everyday living easier for people with disability. You can see and try out equipment at 48 disabled living centres throughout the UK.
This is an online shop for daily living aids for the disabled community, the elderly or those who look after people with mobility difficulties.
The MedicAlert Foundation
327-329 Witan Court
Upper 4th Street
Freephone: 0800 581 420
This registered charity provides ID jewellery engraved with your medical condition and a 24 hour telephone number to call in the event of an emergency. The jewellery starts at around £20 per bracelet.
This commercial company makes waterproof covers for dressings or casts on arms and legs. This means you can go swimming or take a bath or shower without worrying. The cover can also be used for an arm with a PICC line. Ask your specialist or nurse about getting one on the NHS or you can buy one direct from the company. There are full details and a price list on their website.
DryPro Cast Covers
91 Marlborough Road,
Lancing Business Park,
This commercial company provides waterproof covers for dressings or casts on arms and legs. So you can keep a cast or PICC line dry while swimming or taking a bath or shower. Ask your specialist or nurse about getting one on the NHS or you can buy one direct from the company. There are full details and a price list on their website.
Central Line Hideaway
This is an online store which provides patterned pouches to store away central lines used in intravenous chemotherapy.
A charity set up by the cosmetics industry. Volunteer beauty therapists provide skincare and make up workshops for women undergoing cancer treatment. All guests are provided with a goodie bag. It has been running for 12 years and workshops are held in 40 hospitals across the UK. Find your nearest workshop and read more about the work of the charity on their website.
Women's Health Concern
4-6 Eton Place
Phone: 01628 890199
Organisation that provides information about many women's health issues. Can give personalised advice on menopause problems and hormone replacement therapy. Professional counselling available. Produces booklets on a range of subjects including hormone replacement therapy, menopause, hysterectomy and ovarian cysts.
Teenage Cancer Trust
93 Newman Street
Phone: 020 7612 0370
A national charity providing specialist units, support, education and information for teenagers with cancer and their families. The TCT also funds research into young people's cancers. It holds annual conferences for teenagers with cancer and the health professionals who look after them.
Macmillan Cancer Support - Cancer Info for teens and young adults with cancer (formerly Teen Info on Cancer - TIC)
Macmillan Cancer Support has a separate section on their website for teenagers and young adults with cancer. It offers advice and support on how to cope with cancer, and the chance to share experiences of cancer with other teenagers.
77-85 Fulham Palace Road
London W6 8JA
Phone: 0300 330 0803
Online enquiry form
Sargent Cancer Care and Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood merged in 2005 to become CLIC Sargent, a charity which provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support for children and young people and their families, affected by cancer, from diagnosis onwards.
This site offers support to children between 12 and 16 who have a parent with cancer. There is information about cancer and a forum to share experiences.
The Youth Cancer Trust
Phone: 01202 763591
The Youth Cancer Trust provides free holidays to young cancer patients between the ages of 14 to 30 attending any hospital in the UK or Irish Republic, subject to approval from their doctor. Young people are invited to spend a few days with other guests of a similar age and situation at Tracy Anne House in Bournemouth. They can come in groups up to eight and bring a brother, sister or a friend. The emphasis is on a relaxed, carefree and fun holiday, allowing a few days away from hospitals. The groups choose the activities they would like to do, making this their special holiday.
Offers private and confidential counselling, and psychosexual therapy to help with relationship problems.
CORST (College of sexual and relationship therapists)
PO Box 13686
Telephone: 020 8543 2707
Provides information about what help and therapy is available for sexual difficulties.
Sexual Advice Association
Suite 301, Emblem House
London Bridge Hospital
27 Tooley Street
Telephone 020 7486 7262
Information on sexual problems that can affect men and women. They provide lists of local specialist practitioners, as well as factsheets on problems such as erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Prostate Cancer UK
100 Cambridge Grove
Helpline: 0800 074 8383 (Mon to Fri, 10am to 4pm, Wed, 7pm to 9pm)
This organisation provides a telephone helpline staffed by nurses. They can give you information and advice on all aspects of prostate cancer, including erectile dysfunction (impotence).
London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard
PO Box 7324
Helpline: 0300 330 0630
24 hour helpline for lesbians and gay men, their families and friends giving advice, information and referrals.
Phone: 0845 46 47 or 111
NHS Direct is gradually being replaced by NHS 111 in England. Call NHS 111 if you need fast medical help but its not a 999 emergency. To find out where the NHS 111 number is currently in use, and for general health advice and information, look on the NHS Choices website.
Phone: 08454 24 24 24
Confidential telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland.
The Medical Advisory Service (MAS)
PO Box 3087
Phone: 020 8994 9874 (Mon to Fri, 6pm to 8pm)
Men's Health Helpline: 020 8995 4448 (Mon only 7pm to 9pm)
This organisation provides a telephone helpline staffed by nurses. They can give you information and advice on medical problems, including erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Expert Patients Programme
For general enquiries
Freephone: 01925 320000
Tel: 020 7922 7860
There are 5 regional offices, you can find the details are on their website.
This organisation runs free courses for people in England with long term medical conditions. The aim of the courses is to help the people attending them gain confidence in taking responsibility for their conditions alongside the health professionals caring for them. The courses are usually six weekly sessions lasting two and a half hours. All the courses are run by trained tutors who live with a long term medical condition.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists
17 Belgrave Square
Phone: 020 7235 2351
Has a range of highly recommended leaflets covering topics such as 'Depression', 'Anxiety and Phobias', 'Sleep Problems' and 'Bereavement'. You can download these leaflets from their website.
The Compassionate Friends
14 New King Street
Helpline: 0845 123 2304 (Daily 10am to 4pm, and 6.30pm to 10.30pm)
Email (helpline): email@example.com
Admin: 0845 120 3785
Email (general enquiries): firstname.lastname@example.org
A nationwide organisation of bereaved parents offering friendship and understanding to other bereaved parents after the death of a son or daughter from any cause whatsoever. Personal and group support. Quarterly newsletter. Postal library and range of leaflets. Support for bereaved siblings and grandparents. Befriending rather than counselling. Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu are spoken.
The Child Bereavement Charity
The Saunderton Estate
Helpline: 01494 446648
This organisation has a range of resources to support bereaved families, including booklets, leaflets and books. There is a section on their website with information about dying and bereavement for young people. Also has a forum for people to share experiences.
PO Box 4738
Tel: 0118 934 2604
Provides information for families and children when someone close to them has died. There is a useful booklist and information sheets to download, including 'Talking to children about death', 'Talking about funerals' and 'Bereaved teenagers'.
Cruse Bereavement Care
PO Box 800
Administration Tel: 020 8939 9530
Day by Day Helpline 0844 477 9400
Cruse Bereavement Care exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss. The organisation provides support and offers information, advice, education and training services.
Cruse's Youth Involvement Project
Freephone helpline: 0808 808 1677 - open Monday to Friday, 9.30 to 5.30
Website: www.rd4u.org.uk (stands for 'Road for you').
Cruse Bereavement Care's Youth Involvement Project aims to support young people after the death of someone close. The website has a message board and forum.
People with learning disabilities may gain better understanding from pictures, rather than text. The following organisations provide materials that can help.
Royal College of Psychiatrists
This link will take you to the 'Books Beyond Words' section of the Royal College's website. This is a range of picture booklets on specific issues eg Getting on with cancer, 'When Mum died', 'When Dad died' and 'When someone died'.
British Institute of Learning Difficulties (BILD)
This organisation has factsheets on how to communicate with children with learning disabilities.
Rarer Cancers Forum
The Rarer Cancers Forum website has several message boards so people with less common or rarer cancers can get in touch with each other. Friends and families of people with rarer cancers can also use the message boards to share their experiences, give support or get advice from people in similar situations. The website also offers general advice and information.
Jo's Friends - Cancer of Unknown Primary (CUP) Foundation
A charitable support and information website for people with unknown primary cancer, and their carers. CUP also aims to raise awareness and undertake, promote and support research. There is information about uknown primary cancer, its treatment and research, and a message board where you can talk to others with unknown primary cancer.
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team