Patient Education Publications

NCI's popular patient education publications are available in a variety of formats. Download one or more of these booklets to your e-book device, smartphone, or tablet for handy reference, or open them as a PDF directly in the browser.

The booklets in the What You Need To Know About™ Cancer series were retired on June 1, 2018. You can find accurate and up-to-date information about over 100 cancer types in the PDQ® cancer treatment information summaries for patients.

NCI’s Contact Center can help you find information about many types of cancer. Reach our information specialists by phone, chat, or email.

Childhood Cancer

Children with Cancer: A Guide for Parents

Information and advice for parents who have a child with cancer, including treatment, coping and support, health issues, integrative medicine, advanced cancer, and survivorship.

 

Clinical Trials

If You Want to Find Ways to Prevent Cancer...Learn About Prevention Clinical Trials

Covers things you should know when deciding to take part in a clinical trial that may help find ways to prevent cancer.

Providing Your Tissue for Research: What You Need To Know

Explains what tissue donation is and covers things you should know and think about when deciding to donate your tissue to research. Tissue can include materials from your body such as skin, hair, nails, blood, and urine.

How You Can Help Medical Research: Donating Your Blood, Tissue, and Other Samples

Explains the importance of tissue donation, addresses potential concerns, and encourages patients to speak with their healthcare provider about donating samples.

Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies

Explains what clinical trials are, why they are essential to improving cancer care, how the safety and rights of participants are protected, who is responsible for which costs, and potential risks and benefits of taking part.

Coping and Support

Coping with Advanced Cancer

Covers the choices for care and symptom control for the patient with late-stage cancer, along with the emotional and communication issues it brings.

Taking Time: Support for People With Cancer

Covers the feelings and concerns of people with cancer and their families.

When Cancer Returns

Covers the physical and emotional issues related to having a cancer recurrence.

 

For Family and Caregivers

Caring for the Caregiver

A condensed version of “When Someone You Love Is Being Treated for Cancer,” it covers practical, coping, and communication tips for friends and family members caring for loved ones with cancer.

Facing Forward: When Someone You Love Has Completed Cancer Treatment

Covers coping strategies to help cancer caregivers adjust their focus to the recovery phase once treatment is over for their loved one with cancer.

When Your Brother or Sister Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens

Tips on what to say to your friends, how to deal with stress, and where to find support – as well as information about cancer and cancer treatments, for young people who have a brother or sister with cancer.

When Your Parent Has Cancer: A Guide for Teens

Tips on what to say to your friends, how to deal with stress, and where to find support – as well as information about cancer and cancer treatments, for young people who have a parent with cancer.

When Someone You Love Is Being Treated for Cancer

Covers practical, coping, and communication tips for friends and family members caring for loved ones with cancer.

When Someone You Love Has Advanced Cancer: Support for Caregivers

Covers coping strategies and communication tips to address the concerns that cancer caregivers face when their loved one has been told that he or she has advanced cancer.

 

Screening

Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for Women

Explains next steps after an abnormal mammogram result, including information about how conditions are diagnosed and treated.

Understanding Cervical Changes

Explains next steps after an abnormal Pap or HPV test result, including how cervical conditions are diagnosed and treated – as well as information about screening guidelines and HPV vaccines.

Understanding Prostate Changes

Explains prostate cancer symptoms, risk factors, the PSA test, and other prostate conditions including BPH and prostatitis.

 

Survivorship

Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment

Covers both the physical and emotional post-treatment issues for cancer survivors.

Facing Forward: Making a Difference in Cancer

Covers the different ways of volunteering or becoming involved in cancer-related activities.

 

Tobacco Cessation

Clearing the Air: Quit Smoking Today

This booklet is designed to support cessation at any stage of a quitter’s journey.

 

Treatments and Side Effects

Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer

Explains what chemotherapy is and discusses questions people may have, such as how often they will have treatment and how it will be given. Explains common side effects, why they happen, ways your health care providers can help you manage them, and tips for to managing them at home.

Eating Hints: Before, During, and After Cancer Treatment

Covers how diet needs differ for people with cancer, common eating problems that may occur, tips for handling food safely during treatment, how health care providers can help manage eating problems, and tips for managing problems at home. 

Pain Control: Support for People With Cancer

Covers pain control medicines for cancer patients, pain control plans, talking with your health care team about pain, and coping with the physical and emotional effects of pain.

Radiation Therapy and You: Support for People with Cancer

Explains the different types of external beam and internal radiation therapy that are used as treatments for cancer. Covers ways that doctors attempt to protect healthy cells from harm. Lists which side effects might result from treatment to specific parts of the body and offers tips for managing them.

Thinking About Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Covers how to make informed choices when looking for complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

Types of Cancer

Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer

Covers skin cancer risk information for minority audiences. The goal of the brochure is to dispel the belief that only people with light skin are at risk for skin cancer.

Surgery Choices for Women with DCIS or Breast Cancer

Covers the types of breast surgery, such as breast-sparing surgery and mastectomy, and helps women decide which surgery is the best choice for them.

Treatment Choices for Men With Early-Stage Prostate Cancer

Covers the treatment options for early-stage prostate cancer, such as active surveillance, surgery, and radiation therapy, and helps men decide which treatment is the best for them.

 

Viewing and Downloading Help

How to download and view eBooks:

  • Kindle:
    • Open via the browser on your Kindle.
    • Or, select "Kindle." Then, use a USB cable to transfer the file to your Kindle.
  • Smartphone or tablet:
    • Via an ePubs app, select "Other eReaders" to download and view.
    • Via a Kindle app, select "Kindle" to download and view.
    • If you don't have an app, select "PDF."
  • Desktop or laptop computer: Free software is available to read eBooks on your computer. Adobe Digital Editions is one option for ePub and Calibre is one for Kindle.
  • Updated: January 17, 2017