50 Helpful Resources For Cancer Patients

While there are few events in one’s life more devastating than a cancer diagnosis, there is a myriad of great resources on the web to help you through the difficult decisions and obstacles you will face.

We have provided some general resources to help patients begin the process of informing themselves about their condition, as well as a list of America’s most highly regarded cancer hospitals. These are followed by up-to-date news on cancer research, an assortment of social networks and message boards to communicate with other patients, and finally a list of recommended books on the subject.

General Resources Medical Centers Latest Research Web Forums & Social Networks Book Resources

General Resources

  • Acor.org: The Association of Online Cancer Resources compiles a massive amount of information to help cancer patients. Read about treatment options, clinical trials you can take part in, or join mailing lists to become part of the community.
  • American Cancer Society: This organization is on the front lines of fighting cancer. It has links to the newest research on melanoma and other forms of cancer, sponsors events to raise funding and awareness, and gives advice on managing your cancer.
  • Around.org: This site has links to lung cancer support groups, message boards, survival stories, and even phone peers available for conversations.
  • BreastCancer.org: This resource for women with breast cancer covers such topics as “Treatment & Side Effects” and “Day-to-Day Matters.”
  • Cancer Index: A good overview of cancer resources on the Web.
  • The Cancer Information Network : The resources on this site are broken down by type of cancer. Lymphoma, for example, leads to scientific documentation on different types of lymphoma and links to outside further reading.
  • Lung Cancer Online: This is a comprehensive resource for individuals battling lung cancer. It has links to treatment options and procedures, as well as side effects.
  • National Cancer Institute: This government-sponsored agency funds clinical trials and grants for cancer research. It has links to thousands of trials looking for participants.
  • TC Cancer: This is a resource network for men with testicular cancer. It is a well-designed site with a blog and a large list of supporting articles.
  • Web MD: This comprehensive site is a good place to begin your investigation into cancer symptoms and treatments, though it should never replace a consultation with an actual M.D.

Medical Centers

  • Cleveland Clinic: This non-profit academic medical center in Cleveland comes highly recommended in the medical community for cancer treatment.
  • Dana-Farber Cancer Center: The city of Boston is well-served for high-quality cancer hospitals, with both the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Center to choose from. Dana-Farber’s website features videos such as one of a local reporter, treated for cancer at the hospital, showing chemotherapy patients how to tie a headscarf.
  • Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center: This is one of the leading cancer centers, particularly in the fields of urology and pediatrics.
  • St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital: This hospital is ranked the most trusted charity in America and the top children’s cancer center in the nation.
  • Stanford Hospital and Clinics: In Palo Alto, CA, another highly recommended resource for cancer treatment. Stanford is on the cutting edge of bone marrow transplants.
  • The Johns Hopkins Hospital: This facility operated by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore has what are considered to be the best otorhinolaryngology, rheumatology and urology treatment centers in the country.
  • The Mayo Clinic: The renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is part of the largest integrated medical center in the world and at the forefront of cancer research.
  • The M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: According to U.S. News and World Report, this is the best overall cancer hospital in America and the second best hospital for ear, nose and throat cancer. It is located in Houston.
  • University of Washington Medical Center: This hospital in Seattle has the sixth best cancer center in the country, with medical research that has led to Nobel Prizes.
  • US News Top Ranking Cancer Hospitals: This guide has 900 cancer hospitals recommended by medical professionals in the field, with the top 50 ranked in order and the rest alphabetical. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Center and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering center top the list.

Latest Cancer Research

Web Forums and Social Networks

  • CancerDiscussion.com: This is a social network for people affected by cancer. There are informational videos, full profiles of users and, like Facebook, games.
  • Cancer Forums: An extensive message board for conversations between cancer patients and families, with smaller message boards on specific types of cancer.
  • CancerMatch: This is a dating network for cancer survivors. Post your profile, tell your story and meet others who can relate.
  • Cancer Survivors Network: This is a discussion group for anyone currently surviving cancer. Membership gets you a space to share photos, start a blog or contribute links to their growing list.
  • I’m Too Young For This!: A social network and forum for young adults who have received a cancer diagnosis. The site is vigorous about empowering cancer patients and increasing survival rates.
  • KnowCancer: This network is primarily a social community, but also has an education section to help patients become more informed as well as links to recommended doctors and clinics.
  • My Crazy Sexy Life: This social network was founded by Kris Carr, author of the book Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips. Its primarily demographic is women with cancer, both the young and the young at heart.
  • OncoChat: This is an IRC channel for cancer-related discussion. They discourage religious discussion and outsiders trying to interview cancer patients for research purposes.
  • Pink-Link: A social support network for breast cancer survivors. It has hundreds of members and is still growing.
  • Planet Cancer: A social network for cancer survivors in their 20s and 30s. Its tagline is “We’re glad you’re here. Well, not really. But you know what we mean.”

Book Resources

  • After Breast Cancer: A Common-Sense Guide to Life After Treatment by Hester Hill Schnipper. The author is both a breast cancer survivor and an oncology social worker. It offers advice for survivors that is both emotional and practical.
  • Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, M.D.-PhD. The author, who cofounded Doctors Without Borders, has been a brain cancer survivor for 15 years. The book focuses on lifestyle changes patients can practice in addition to receiving medical treatment.
  • The Biology of Cancerby Robert Weinberg. This is primarily a textbook for biology and medical students, but will be a useful resource for scientifically inclined cancer patients who want to be up-to-date on the scientific community’s understanding of their condition.
  • Cancer: 50 Essential Things to Do by Greg Anderson. This guide, now in its third edition, offers a road map for what to do after you’ve received a cancer diagnosis. The author was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1984 and given thirty days to live. He went on to found the Cancer Recovery Foundation International group after beating his illness.
  • The Chemotherapy Survival Guide by Judith McKay and Tamara Schacher. This book, according to its publisher, is the primary chemotherapy patient education tool in clinics nationwide. Readers praise it as clear and practical.
  • Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr with a foreword by Sheryl Crow. Hip women of all ages with a cancer diagnosis can derive sustenance from this book on tackling cancer with cowgirl boots on.
  • Dr. Patrick Walsh’s Guide to Surviving Prostate Cancer by Patrick Walsh, M.D. and Janet Worthington. This is recommended as the preeminent general-audience book on prostate cancer.
  • How Cancer Works by Lauren Sompayrac. Called by its publisher “the essential cancer primer,” this book consists of a series of lectures that explain how cancer spreads in the body.
  • Informed Decisionsby Harmon Eyre, Dianne Lange and Lois B. Morris. This popular guide, now in its second edition, combines an encyclopedia of common and uncommon cancers with informational sections on cancer terminology and how the disease is diagnosed, tested and fought.
  • What to Eat if You Have Cancer: Healing Foods That Boost Your Immune System by Maureen Keane and Daniella Chace. This book distills complex nutritional processes for a general audience. The authors, both nutritionists, provide dietary advice that strengthens the body while starving the cancer.