Resources and support

There are many organisations, support groups, books, videos and other resources to help you cope with anal cancer and treatment.

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 prevention and treatment.

We are committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer. As well as looking at the information on this website you can call our nurse freephone helpline on 0808 800 4040. They are available from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Or you can send them a question online.

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

Anal cancer support organisations

Bowel Cancer UK raise awareness of bowel cancer and campaign for better treatments and care. They provide information about bowel cancers, including anal and rectal cancers through their website and leaflets and they have an online forum. 

Nurse email:

Telephone: 020 7940 1760

The Anal Cancer Foundation aims to help and support anal cancer patients. They are also interested in improving prevention and research methods for anal cancer and the virus that causes the majority of cases, HPV.

Kemp House 160
City Road, London


Tel: 0203 488 6567

Shortly after Bobby Moore’s death in 1993, Bobby’s widow Stephanie Moore OBE set up the Bobby Moore Fund as a restricted fund of Cancer Research UK to raise money for pioneering bowel cancer research.

Phone: 0300 1231022


General support organisations

The ACS provides information and support for people affected by cancer. As it is an American website, not all the information is relevant for a UK audience.

Bladder and Bowel Community

The Bladder and Bowel Community supports people living with bladder and bowel disorders and has a telephone helpline. The service is confidential. They can also give you information about stoma products.

They have a 'Just Can't Wait' card which allows holders access to toilets in shops and when you are out. It's free to order on the website.

Forward House
17 High Street
B95 5AA

Home Delivery Service Sign Up: 0800 031 5406

Home Delivery Service Existing Customers: 0800 031 5407


This is a UK support group for people with a colostomy. It provides information and support and booklets to anyone who has or is about to have a colostomy.

Free helpline: 0800 328 4257 (24 hrs a day, 7 days a week)
General enquires: 0118 939 1537 (between 09:00 and 17:00)

Dansac is a company that works with people with stomas to develop stoma care products and services. They aim to make life better for people living with a stoma and those who care for them.

Tel: 0800 581 117

Guts UK produce information and leaflets on common digestive diseases and illnesses. This includes information about cancer of the bowel, food pipe (oesophagus) and stomach.

Tel: 020 7486 0341

Macmillan Cancer Support is a charity that gives practical, medical and financial support to people with cancer in the UK. Its helpline gives guidance on cancer and advice on benefits. It also publishes booklets about cancer and treatments. Information is available in other languages.

Freephone: 0808 808 00 00 (7 days a week, 8am to 8pm)
Contact email form

Maggie’s is a national charity with centres across the UK. They offer care and support to people affected by cancer. Each centre is beside an NHS cancer hospital and is run by specialist staff.

You can join a support group, take part in weekly sessions like relaxation and stress management, or learn about nutrition and health. You can also visit just to have a cup of tea and a friendly chat.

Phone: 0300 123 1801

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the US organisation for cancer research. It has information about all types of cancer. 

A patient led group that promotes understanding about pelvic radiation disease. Pelvic radiation disease is a late effect of radiotherapy treatment. They support patients and campaign for more research and better treatment for this condition.


Sexual Advice Association

The Sexual Advice Association provide lists of local specialist practitioners, as well as fact sheets on problems such as erectile dysfunction (impotence).

The website no longer has a helpline due to a lack of funding.

Shine is a charity working to create a community of young adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s who have experienced a cancer diagnosis. 

Shine has local peer support networks across the UK and runs a number of annual events including Shine Camp (a summer camping trip) and Shine Connect, a conference for young adults with cancer, their friends and family, and healthcare professionals.

Shine also runs workshops on topics such as working after cancer and managing anxiety and depression. 

Trekstock provides support, guidance and connection to young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer. They offer specialist advice to help young people keep active during or beyond treatment, informative events and expert information.

Contact form

Books about anal and bowel cancer

Ian Eustace
ISBN 1910843997

An easy to read guide to bowel cancer. It includes information about lowering your risk, causes, tests, treatment and living with bowel cancer.

DS Bub, SL Rose and WD Wong
Jones & Bartlett Publishers, 2011
ISBN 978-1449622923

A comprehensive book about all aspects of colorectal cancer. It is an American book so some aspects will not apply to the UK.


M Davies
Mark Davies, 2011
ISBN 9780955903625

A personal story using male humour from Mark Davies who was diagnosed with bowel cancer at the age of 31. Some people may find it a little crude but others find it amusing. Discusses his diagnosis, treatment and the challenges of living with bowel cancer. 

Information for children

K Chilman-Blair and S deLoache
American Cancer Society, 2013
ISBN 1604432020

An American illustrated book about bowel cancer aimed at children aged 10 to 16 years.

Books about cancer and treatment

A Bloch and others
American Cancer Society, 2010
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.

Dr Terry Priestman
Sheldon Press, 2009
ISBN 978-1847090805

Gives information about chemotherapy, its side effects, and how to cope with them. Also discusses the effect of chemotherapy on everyday life, including tiredness, sex life and fertility, social life, work, holidays, exercise and diet.

Dr Terry Priestman
Sheldon Press, 2007
ISBN 978-0859699990

Gives information about radiotherapy, its side effects, and how to cope with them. Also discusses the effect of radiotherapy on everyday life, including social life, work, travel, exercise and diet.

A Ko, E Rosenbaum and M Dollinger
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009
ISBN 9780740786310

The author and contributors of this book are all American cancer specialists. The book covers how cancer is diagnosed, treated and managed day to day.

Jane Freeman
Sheldon Press, 2012
ISBN 978-1847091413

Written by a cancer dietitian, this is a practical handbook for people with cancer. Filled with helpful tips and recipes.

J F Kelvin and L B Tyson
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.

Provides free, reliable information about health issues including mental health, by sharing people's real-life experiences.

Find local cancer information and support near you

There are organisations and support in your local area that you can access. You can ask your specialist nurse or doctor for more information about cancer services near you.


NHS Choices has a service that tells you about local information and support in England.


NHS Inform gives information about illness, treatments and NHS services for people in Scotland.


NHS 111 Wales gives health advice and information for people living in Wales.

Northern Ireland

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland have a cancer information helpline and resource centre. They provide public and professional education, rehabilitation programmes and support groups for patients and relatives. 

Cancer nurse helpline: 0800 783 3339 Monday - Friday 9am to 1pm

Last reviewed: 
09 Aug 2022
Next review due: 
09 Aug 2025

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