Find out about organisations and websites that help and support people affected 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.
Cancer support and information 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
Action Cancer is the major cancer information and support charity in Northern Ireland. It has a full-time clinic and mobile unit for early detection and screening and offers one-to-one counselling. Services are free.
Action Cancer also funds a leading research team at Queen's University and the University of Ulster.
Action Cancer House
20 Windsor Avenue
Phone: 028 9080 3344
Cancer Voices is a UK wide network of people affected by cancer, supported by Macmillan Cancer Support. It can help you use your experience of cancer to help shape the future of cancer care. This might be through getting involved in local or national groups or taking part in surveys or research.
Maggie’s is a national charity with centres across the UK. It offers 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.
Western General Hospital
Phone: 0300 123 1801
Marie Curie runs 9 centres (hospices) throughout the UK. And a nationwide Marie Curie nursing service, providing care for patients in their own homes throughout the day or night, free of charge.
89, Albert Embankment
Support line: 0800 090 2309. For emotional support and practical advice about terminal illness, including for family and friends. The support line is open 8am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 11am - 5pm on Saturday.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is the US organisation for cancer research. It has information about all types of cancer.
A UK based centre that offers a programme of complementary care to people with cancer and their loved ones. This is called The Bristol Whole Life Approach. They also offer local support across the country.
Penny Brohn UK can give you information about appropriate, balanced and nutritious diets for people with cancer.
Chapel Pill Lane
Cancer Support Scotland offers support, education and care for people with cancer. They also have information for relatives, friends and health professionals. They promote a network of support groups throughout Scotland.
Cancer Support Scotland Centre
75 Shelley Road
Phone: 0141 337 8199
Tenovus Cancer Care provides an information service on all aspects of cancer. The charity provides practical and emotional support for people with cancer and their families. They have mobile support units bring cancer treatment into local communities in Wales.
Tenovus Cancer Care,
Brunel House (15th Floor),
2 Fitzalan Road,
Support line: 0808 808 1010
Cancer Focus Northern Ireland have a cancer information helpline and information and resource centre. They provide public and professional education, rehabilitation programmes and support groups for patients and relatives.
40-44 Eglantine Avenue
Cancer nurse helpline: 0800 783 3339 Monday - Friday 9am to 1pm
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
The Future Fertility Trust is run by a team of doctors, researchers and tissue bank specialists. They are from the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
It aims to help children and young people at risk of infertility due to illness or treatment.
Phone: 01865 220 076 (24 hour answer service)
Finance, work and equipment organisations
This website replaces the Department for Work and Pensions website and the Directgov website. All the government departments and many other agencies and public bodies have merged into this one website.
It has information about all government services including benefits and tax credits. You can also get benefits advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau or Social Services. Both have local offices and you can find contact details in your local phone book or on the internet.
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.
This registered charity provides ID jewellery engraved with your medical condition and a 24 hour telephone number to call in the event of an emergency. The jewellery starts at around £20 per bracelet.
The MedicAlert Foundation
327 Upper Fourth Street,
Phone: 01908 951 045
This company makes waterproof covers for dressings or casts on arms and legs. This means you can go swimming or take a bath or shower without worrying. The cover can also be used for an arm with a PICC line. Ask your specialist or nurse about getting one on the NHS or you can buy one direct from the company.
Phone: 0870 041 0150
DryPro Cast Covers provide waterproof covers for dressings or casts on arms and legs. You can keep a PICC line dry while swimming or taking a bath or shower. Ask your specialist or nurse about getting one on the NHS or you can buy one direct from the company.
91 Marlborough Road,
Lancing Business Park,
Phone: 0845 4349 170
Women's cancer organisations
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
This organisation provides information about many women's health issues. For a minimum donation of £10 to cover costs, they can give personalised email advice about your reproductive, gynaecological or sexual health. Produces booklets on a range of subjects including hormone replacement therapy, menopause, hysterectomy and ovarian cysts.
Spracklen House, East wing
Cancer, Fertility and Me is a website for women with cancer who are having treatment that may affect their fertility and chances of becoming pregnant in the future.
It is written by fertility doctors, specialist nurses, psychologists and other professionals.
It aims to help women think about the treatments which may help to preserve their fertility. It also aims to help women prepare to talk with their healthcare professionals, partner, family and friends about fertility preservation before cancer treatment starts.
Young people's cancer information and support
Teenage Cancer Trust is a national charity providing specialist units, expert staff, support events, education and information for 13-24 year old’s diagnosed with cancer and their friends and families.
The Teenage Cancer Trust also work closely with healthcare professionals and researchers to lead the way on developing cancer care for teenagers and young adults.
Tel: 020 7612 0370
Macmillan Cancer Support has a separate section on its website for teenagers and young adults with cancer. It offers advice and support on how to cope with cancer, and the chance to share experiences of cancer with other teenagers.
Young Lives vs Cancer (previously called CLIC Sargent) is a charity that provides clinical, practical, financial and emotional support for children and young people and their families who are affected by cancer.
Phone: 0300 330 0803
This site offers support to children between 12 and 16 who have a parent with cancer. There is information about cancer and a forum to share experiences.
The Youth Cancer Trust provides free holidays to young cancer patients between the ages of 14 to 30 attending any hospital in the UK or the Irish Republic, subject to approval from their doctor. Young people are invited to spend a few days with other guests of a similar age and situation at Tracy Anne House in Bournemouth. They can come in groups up to eight and bring a brother, sister or a friend. The emphasis is on a relaxed, carefree and fun holiday, allowing a few days away from hospitals.
Tracy Ann House
5 Studland Road
Phone: 01202 763591
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.
AfterThoughts is a podcast. It is a collection of patient stories from teenagers to people in their twenties and thirties.
They discuss life after a cancer diagnosis. They cover a range of issues such as fertility, body image and talking about cancer with family and friends. It is presented by two young people who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Help with relationships and sexuality
Relate offers private and confidential counselling, and psychosexual therapy to help with relationship problems. They provide counselling over the phone, through a webcam or face to face at a Relate centre. They also have live chat on their website.
College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) provides information about what help and therapy is available for sexual difficulties.
Telephone: 020 8106 9635
The Sexual Advice Association provide lists of local specialist practitioners, as well as fact sheets on problems such as erectile dysfunction (impotence).
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
For general health advice and information.
NHS 111 gives information if you need fast medical help but it's not a 999 emergency.
NHS 24 is a confidential telephone health advice and information service for people in Scotland. It provides urgent advice out of hours.
Self Management UK is an organisation that works with patients and carers to help them manage day to day when living with long term conditions. One of the programmes is called the Expert Patients Programme. The aim of this course is to help people gain confidence in taking responsibility for their conditions alongside the health professionals caring for them.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists produce highly recommended leaflets covering topics such as:
- anxiety and phobias
- sleeping well
You can download these leaflets from their website.
Phone: 020 7235 2351 or 020 7977 6655
An organisation of bereaved parents offering friendship and understanding to other bereaved parents after the death of a son or daughter from any cause whatsoever. Personal and group support. Quarterly newsletter. Postal library and range of leaflets. Support for bereaved siblings and grandparents. Befriending rather than counselling. Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu are spoken.
Helpline: 0345 123 2304 (Daily 10am to 4pm, and 7pm to 10pm)
Helpline Northern Ireland: 0288 77 88 016 (Daily 10am to 4pm, and 7pm to 9.30pm)
Email (helpline): firstname.lastname@example.org
This organisation has a range of resources to support bereaved families, including booklets, leaflets and books. There is a section on their website with information about dying and bereavement for young people. Their website has a forum for people to share experiences.
Helpline: 0800 02 888 40
Daisy's Dream provides information for families and children when someone close to them has died. There is a useful book list and information sheets to download including:
- Talking to children about death
- Talking about funerals
- The death of a grandparent
Tel: 0118 934 2604
Cruse provides bereavement counselling. It offers help, support and information to anyone facing bereavement or who has been bereaved. It has a network of local branches throughout the UK.
Helpline: 0808 808 1677
Information for people with learning disability
People with learning disabilities may gain better understanding from pictures, rather than text. The following organisations provide materials that can help.
This organisation aims to facilitate better support in the community for people with disabilities. There are factsheets on the website looking at some of the ways a parent or carer can help a person with a learning disability to understand and cope with loss, bereavement and death.
Tel: 0121 415 6960
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 other people affected by CUP.