There are lots of organisations, support groups and helpful books to help you cope with symptoms and side effects caused by cancer 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.
General support and information organisations
For general health advice and information.
NHS 111 gives information if you need fast medical help but it's 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 6.00pm)
NHS 24 is a confidential telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland. It provides urgent advice out of hours.
Cancer support organisations
Brain Tumour Support is a charity that provides information and support for people with brain tumours, and their friends and families.
The charity is hosting an ongoing programme of online support sessions via Zoom. These include UK wide support groups including for carers or peer support sessions. Brain Tumour Support are also offering topic specific sessions covering issues ranging from finance and benefits, palliative care and creative sessions for wellbeing.
Support Service Line: 01454 422701
Breast Cancer Now is a charity dedicated to funding breast cancer research. They also provide breast cancer information and support across the UK. Services are free and include a helpline, website, publications, and practical and emotional support. It was formed by the merger of The Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer in 2015.
5th Floor Ibex House
42 - 47 Minories
Tel: 0808 800 6000
Ask a nurse: Contact form
A support network for people with thyroid disease. The British Thyroid Foundation's staff, medical professionals, volunteers and people with thyroid disorders, work together to provide support and information based on medical evidence and personal experience.
Telephone helpline: 01423 810 093 (Monday to Thursday 10am - 4pm)
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
Age UK provides information, advice and support for people in later life.
One America Square
Advice line: 0800 678 1602 (8am-7pm, 365 days a year)
A charity providing support for anyone experiencing anxiety.
Telephone: 03444 775 774
Books about cancer
J F Kelvin and L B Tyson
Jones and Bartlett Publishing, 2010
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
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
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.
A Ko, E Rosenbaum and M Dollinger
Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009
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.
Sheldon Press, 2012
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
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.
Living Well with Pain and Illness
Sounds True, 2010
Vidyamala has suffered chronic back pain for more than 30 years. She is the co-founder of Breathworks, an organisation which helps people experiencing chronic pain, illness and stress to manage their condition through meditation, body awareness and creative approaches to living.
Provides free, reliable information about health issues including mental health, by sharing people's real-life experiences.
Find local cancer information and support
The NHS website helps you to find local cancer information and support in England.