Find out about organisations, support, books, leaflets and other resources to help you cope with breast cancer and it's treatment. There is also information about mastectomy wear and prosthesis suppliers.
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 us a question online.
Cancer Chat is our online forum where you can share experiences.
Breast cancer support organisations
Breast Cancer Care provides breast cancer information and support across the UK. All services are free and include a helpline, website, publications and practical and emotional support. It runs sessions about lymphoedema around the country.
Helpline: 0808 800 6000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm and Saturday, 10am to 2pm)
Telephone: 0345 092 0800 (general enquiries)
The Inflammatory Breast Cancer Network UK offers support and advice during treatment and beyond. They have an online support group for people diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. This is a closed group. You need to apply online to join.
Provides support and information if you are concerned about hereditary breast cancer. There is an email address and a telephone number for enquires. Outside office hours, there is a 24 hour answerphone to leave your message.
Tel: 01629 813000 (helpline 24 hours)
Breast Cancer Haven is a national charity that supports women during or after their breast cancer treatment. Breast Cancer Haven provides a free tailored package of emotional, physical and practical support. They offer advice on practical things like:
- money and work
- how to combat stress, exhaustion and nausea
- healthy eating and exercise
They offer people diagnosed with breast cancer the chance to talk about their concerns and worries regarding treatment and its impact.
Tel: 020 7384 0099
General support organisations
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
This charity aims to help with the physical and emotional wellbeing of people going through cancer treatment. They provide confidence boosting workshops, which gives a chance for people to meet others going through a similar experience and to learn skills to manage some of the side effects of treatment, such as skincare and make up techniques.
They have been running for 25 years and workshops are held in 130 hospitals and support centres across the UK. You can find your nearest workshop and read more about the work of the charity on their website.
West Hill House
32 West Hill
Phone: 01372 747500
A national charity offering information and support to anyone affected by lymphoedema. It has local support groups, a helpline and a website. It also produces a range of information including factsheets about lymphoedema and its treatment, 2 DVDs about self management techniques for lymphoedema, and a quarterly newsletter.
St. Luke's Crypt
Telephone: 020 7351 4480
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.
10 Dumbarton Road
Phone: 0300 123 1801
healthtalk.org provides free, reliable information about health issues, by sharing people's real life experiences. The cancer section of the website contains video and audio clips of people with some types of cancer.
There is a section for:
- cancer that affects adults
- cancer in young people
- taking part in clinical trials
Switchboard provides an information, support and referral service for lesbians, gay men and bisexual and trans people - and anyone considering issues around their sexuality or gender identity. Their helpline is open every day between 10am and 10pm. They also offer a chat and email service.
PO Box 7324
Helpline: 0300 330 0630
Flat Friends is a charity that supports ladies living without reconstruction after a mastectomy. You can get in touch with people who have had similar experiences via their online forum, Facebook, Twitter, or face to face. The website also has information about research, fashion ideas, and personal stories.
Suppliers for women who have had breast surgery
Amoena makes and retails breast forms (prostheses), prosthetic nipples, mastectomy lingerie, nightwear and mastectomy swim wear. They also sell sports wear (active wear). They have stockists across the UK and you can also make online orders.
Tel: 0345 434 7334 (from 9am to 5pm)
Betty and Belle is a lingerie shop where you can get expert bra fitting. They sell mastectomy lingerie, breast prostheses and swimwear, including non wired support bras and front fastening bras for after breast surgery. Their collection is also available online. The shop is usually open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.
35 Oxford Road
Tel: 0161 929 1472
An online supplier of breast prostheses,mastectomy bras and swim wear. It also sells front fastening bras for after surgery.
23 Shirwell Crescent
Tel: 01908 340 094
Books or leaflets about breast cancer
E Pennery, V Speechley and M Rosenfield
Class Publishing, 2008
Contains information about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. It offers guidance on the various forms of treatment and care, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. It also gives information about complementary therapies, practical advice about managing life with and after cancer (diet, exercise, work and finances). And answers questions about relationships and family.
Sheldon Press 2006
Coming to terms with a diagnosis of breast cancer isn't easy. This book gives reassurance and practical advice about getting on with life as normally as possible. It is helpful for friends and family as well as people with breast cancer.
St. Martin’s Griffin, 2017
It is a book written by an American breast cancer specialist. It includes information on recent treatment developments. It is mainly for people with primary breast cancer.
M Weiss and E Weiss
Three Rivers Press, 2010
This American book discusses all the physical and emotional issues that you may have after finishing cancer treatment.
A book for women who have just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Written by a woman who has been through treatment for breast cancer. Provides information about what breast cancer is, how it is diagnosed and the treatment options available. It also talks about the emotional effects after a cancer diagnosis.
BCM Publishing, 2014
A personal story and guide to talking about cancer to children. Written by a woman diagnosed with breast cancer aged 43 when her son was 7 and her daughter was 3. The book has information about coping with treatment and coping emotionally when you have children.
Lange Productions, 2019
A complete guide to breast cancer diagnosis, treatment, breast reconstruction, complementary therapies, research trials and coping with cancer. It is an American book, so some aspects are not relevant to UK readers.
D Rainsbury and G Straker
Class Publishing, 2008
Written by a breast surgeon and breast care nurse. Gives information about breast reconstruction that aims to help women to make decisions about this type of surgery. It describes the surgical process, the possible benefits and problems. It also talks about psychological aspects of breast reconstruction, gives options for women who decide not to have reconstructive surgery, and explains how other treatments may affect or be affected by reconstruction.
Breast screening: helping women decide
This leaflet is sent to all women invited for breast screening.
An easy guide to breast screening
A booklet about breast screening for women with learning disabilities.
Breast implants and breast screening
This leaflet tells women how breast implants may affect screening.
Breast screening: high risk women
This factsheet explains breast screening for women at higher risk of developing breast cancer.
NHS population screening: information for transgender and non binary people
This leaflet includes information about breast cancer screening.
Books about lymphoedema and early menopause
Dr P Mortimer and G Levine
Elliott & Thompson, 2017
Explains the causes and symptoms of lymphoedema. Describes treatments, including massage, exercise, and compression garments. It also has information about coping day-to-day with lymphoedema.
E W Sterling and A Best-Boss
Fireside Books, 2010
An American book that has information on treatments and other ways of managing early menopause. As it is American, some of the options and resources may not be available in the UK.
Avon books, 2000
Discusses the physical and emotional effects of early menopause and how to cope with them.
Janet Rhys Dent
Radcliffe Publishing, 2007
ISBN 1 84619 150 5
This is an easy to read book of one woman’s experience of breast cancer. As she considers the dilemmas and discoveries of the diagnosis, both inside and outside hospital, she reflects on what being a patient means, where she gets information and support and how her attitude to life and living changes.
Lucas Books, 2002
This is 1 woman's story of having breast cancer. It's easy to read and gives good explanations of tests and treatment. It explains the more unpleasant aspects of treatment in a non-frightening way. It has a strong spiritual focus and may not suit everyone but others may find it a useful source of support.
Sarah Jane Phillips
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
This is a warm and easy to read book about a 36 years old woman’s experience of breast cancer (some 20 years after treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma). The author gives an honest and open account of her feelings and experiences during her diagnosis, treatment, and the early years following treatment. She describes what the tests and treatments involve, and offers insight into what it really feels like and how she coped at each stage. The author is very positive about the support she receives from her family and friends, and the health professionals involved in her care. Proceeds from the book will go towards the NHS trust where she had treatment.
Information for children and people with a learning disability
S Hollins and W Perez
Beyond words, 2017
This book tells a simple story about a women going for a mammogram and getting her result. It also explains what happens if you are called for further tests and how to look out for any changes in your breasts – being breast aware.
National Health Service (NHS) Cancer Screening Programmes
This is a picture leaflet for women with a learning disability to tell them about breast screening. You can read or download this leaflet in PDF format on the NHS website.
Maya Silva and Marc Silva
Sourcebooks Fire, 2013
Maya was 16 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has written this book with her father in order to help other teenagers in a similar position.
Videos of people's stories
Find out about the experience of living with and beyond cancer by seeing and hearing people share their personal stories on film. Healthtalk’s researchers created a library of interviews with people who have survived for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis.
Find out what people said about issues such as lifestyle choices, physical effects and the impact on work and family.
Find local cancer support and information services
NHS website has a service that tells you about local information and support.