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Resources and organisations

Find support organisations, books and other resources to help you cope with cancer of unknown primary (CUP) and its 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.

CUP and general support organisations

The CUP Foundation provides support and information for people with unknown primary cancer and their carers. The CUP Foundation also aims to raise awareness and undertake, promote and support research.

There is a message board where you can talk to others with unknown primary cancer on their website.

CUP Foundation,
The Fold,
Lower End,

This coalition of cancer charities raises awareness of less common cancers. It aims to move these cancers higher up the political agenda.

The name comes from the fact that 52% of cancer deaths are due to the less common cancers. This includes all cancers except breast, bowel, lung and prostate.

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

The US National Cancer Institute website has a comprehensive section about cancer of unknown primary.

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.

The Gatehouse
10 Dumbarton Road
G11 6PA

Phone: 0300 123 1801


National Cancer Institute, USA
Progressive Management, 2011

Authoritative information and practical advice about carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) from the National Cancer Institute in the US. Only available as a Kindle edition.

The book includes information about signs, symptoms, treatment options, clinical trials and outlook. It also includes a complete glossary of technical medical terms and current references. The book starts with basic information and advances to more detailed patient information, and then information for doctors.

You can also find a list of books about cancer, treatment and living with cancer on our general reading list. These books cover many aspects of cancer and its treatment. 

Booklets and factsheets

You can download (for free) or order factsheets and leaflets about various aspects of living with cancer and its treatment. 

Titles include:

  • Understanding chemotherapy
  • Understanding radiotherapy
  • Coping with hair loss
  • Coping with fatigue
  • Eating problems and cancer
  • Healthy eating and cancer
  • Physical activity and cancer treatment

These, and a wide range of other booklets and CDs, can be ordered via the Macmillan Cancer Support website. They can also be ordered by phone on 0800 500 800.

You can download patient information booklets from The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust for free. These booklets cover many aspects of cancer and its treatment, including:

  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • clinical trials
  • eating well when you have cancer
  • after treatment

Videos of people's stories

Hear what it's like to live with and beyond cancer, from people who have shared their personal stories on film.

Healthtalk has an online library of interviews with people who have lived for 5 years or more after a cancer diagnosis. See what they say about lifestyle choices, physical effects, work, family and more. 

Find local cancer information and support

NHS Choices helps you to find local cancer information and support.