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Coping with Cancer

You may have just learned that you have cancer. Or you may be in treatment, finishing treatment, or have a friend or family member with cancer. Having cancer changes your life and the lives of those around you. The symptoms and side effects of the disease and its treatment may cause certain physical changes, but they can also affect the way you feel and how you live.

The information in this section is meant to help you learn how to cope with cancer and the many issues and concerns that occur when you have the disease. There are resources available to help you learn about your disease and about the people who can help you. See NCI’s publications on coping and evidence-based PDQ® summaries about supportive and palliative care topics. Young people with cancer may find the Emotional Support and Care for Young People with Cancer page helpful. 

  • Emotions and Cancer

    Cancer can bring up a wide range of emotions, whether you're in treatment now, done with treatment, or a friend or family member. These feelings are all normal. Learn tips for coping with the many emotions that arise with cancer.

  • Adjusting to Cancer

    Information that helps you and your family face life’s changes from cancer. Includes talking with your doctors, talking to children, changes for the family, and information on cancer support groups.

  • How Cancer Affects Your Self-Image and Sexuality

    Learn how cancer and its treatment can affect how you look and feel about yourself and your body,. It can also affect your sex life and sexual health. Learn the steps you can take to cope with body changes and issues related to sexuality and intimacy.

  • Daily Life During Cancer

    While dealing with cancer can be hard, there are actions you can take to adjust to your new way of life. Find tips for keeping up with your daily routine, going back to work, and finding comfort and meaning.

  • Support for Caregivers of Cancer Patients

    If you are helping your family member or friend through cancer treatment, you are a caregiver. Being a caregiver can be very stressful, but you can find ways to care for yourself while caring for others.

  • Cancer Survivorship

    Becoming a cancer survivor happens at the time of diagnosis. When cancer treatment ends, the transition to a new normal can be hard. And for some, cancer continues to be a part of life indefinitely. Learn about follow-up care, dealing with physical and emotional issues, late side effects, and coping and communicating about family issues.

  • Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Cancer

    Sets of questions, organized by topic, that cancer patients may want to ask their doctors or other members of their health care team to learn more about their cancer and what to expect.

  • Research on Coping with Cancer

    Find research articles on coping with cancer, which may include news stories, clinical trials, blog posts, and descriptions of active studies.