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 cope with the many issues and concerns that occur when you have cancer. There are resources available to help you learn about the disease and about the people who can help you. See our publications on copingand our evidence-based PDQ® summaries about supportive and palliative care topics. Know that you are not alone.

Sad Woman Looking Out Window

Feelings and Cancer

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

Wife Leaning on Husband

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.

sad woman

Self-Image & Sexuality

Cancer and its treatment can affect how you look and feel about yourself and your body. There are steps you can take to cope with body changes and issues related to sexuality and intimacy.

Man Waiting for Train

Day-to-Day Life

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.

middle-aged woman helping mother

Support for Caregivers

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.

Woman with Head Scarf


Many cancer survivors say that once treatment ended, it was hard to make a transition to a new way of life. Find out how to adjust to physical and emotional changes, deal with common family issues, and plan for follow-up care after treatment.

Elderly male patient talking with female doctor

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.

Credit: iStock


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