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Resources and support for cancer pain

There are lots of organisations, support groups and 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 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.

Specific pain organisations

A charity that is being run entirely by volunteers. Provides support, advice and help in various ways to people affected by chronic pain and those close to them.

Telephone helpline (PainLine): 0345 603 1593

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)

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.

Helpline: 0300 123 0789 (Monday: 2pm to 4pm and Friday: 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm )

General support, information and work organisations

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

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

For general health advice and information.

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

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

NHS Helpline: 0800 22 44 88 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm and Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm) - for details of pharmacies, GP practices and dentists in Scotland.

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

ASTRiiD stands for ‘Available Skills for Training, Refreshing, Improvement, Innovation and Development’.

ASTRiiD is a not for profit organisation connecting businesses with people who have long term health problems, including cancer, but who still have skills to offer employers. A person can register their skills and experiences along with how much time they might be able to give to a potential employer. This might be a number of days a week or even just a few hours a month.

A company registers and highlights the skills and experiences that they are looking for in order to complete some work. ASTRiiD then compares these two registrations to see if there is match. If there is a good match then ASTRiiD will introduce one side to the other.

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 719 889

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. 

Complete Care Shop
330 Four Oaks Rd
Walton Summit Centre

Phone: 03330 160 000 (Monday - Friday 8.30am - 5.30pm)
Email - to place an order or for customer services:

Books and booklets on cancer

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.

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.

SL Rose and RT Hara
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2009
ISBN 0763762571

An American book which gives information about caring for someone with cancer, including how to support them when they have symptoms or side effects.

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.

Jane Freeman
Sheldon Press, 2012
ISBN 9781847091413

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

M Williams and others
Guilford Press, 2007
ISBN 1593851286

An American book, but two 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.

Dr P Mortimer and‎ G Levine
Elliott & Thompson, 2017
ISBN 1783962852

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.

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
  • Managing cancer pain
  • Managing 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

  • 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
  • Participant information for pain management programmes
  • 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
  • Opioids Aware: A resource for patients and healthcare professionals to support the prescribing of opioid medicines for pain
  • Understanding and managing long term pain

From My Name Is Not Cancer

Tel: 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 NHS

Website: - a webpage with some self help tips to bring some relief to problems with pain.

If you would like to recommend a book

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


Last reviewed: 
18 Jan 2021
Next review due: 
18 Jan 2024