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The web Directory of Information Materials for People Affected by Cancer is regularly updated and currently has details of over 1,900 booklets, leaflets, books and audiovisual materials for people affected by cancer. Most have been published in the last five years but we have included some older ones that are still useful.

Results: 192

Cover image of 'I’m just a person. My year of death, cancer and epiphany'

I’m just a person. My year of death, cancer and epiphany (2016)

Bluebird (Pan Macmillan)

In the span of four months in 2012, Tig Notaro was hospitalized for a debilitating intestinal disease called C. diff, her mother unexpectedly died, she went through a breakup, and then she was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Hit with this devastating barrage, Tig took her grief onstage. Days after receiving her cancer diagnosis, she broke new comedic ground, opening an unvarnished set with the words: 'Good evening. Hello. I have cancer. How are you? Hi, how are you? Is everybody having a good time? I have cancer.' The set instantly went viral, and was ultimately released as Tig's sophomore album, Live, which sold one hundred thousand units in just six weeks and was later nominated for a Grammy. Now, the wildly popular star takes stock of that no good, very bad year - a difficult yet astonishing period in which tragedy turned into absurdity and despair transformed into joy. An inspired combination of the deadpan silliness of her comedy and the open-hearted vulnerability that has emerged in the wake of that dire time, I'm Just a Person is a moving and often hilarious look at this very brave, very funny woman's journey into the darkness and her thrilling return from it. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger'

What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger (2016)

Self-published using CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

“You’ve got cancer” – three little words that can change your life. “What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger” is the honest, straight-from-the-heart account of one woman’s experience of hearing these three words. Right from the start, it follows every step of this journey – and it IS a journey – the tears and laughter, the ups and downs and everything in between. There is loads of information available that give you the facts about what it’s like to be diagnosed with cancer, what happens next, what the options are for treatment and a how to have a life alongside a cancer diagnosis. Most of these are written by those who have never had cancer. Not many of them share the emotional and psychological effects that being diagnosed have. This book does. It talks about the real side effects of chemo, the strange things you crave or can’t stand, the powerful friendships that develop and the fierce spirit within, which is determined to beat cancer. It’s not a “poor me” story……it’s a frank and honest account that has one purpose – to help other people who find themselves with a cancer diagnosis, to show them that what they are thinking and feeling is “OK”, that they aren’t alone and that it’s ok to have a laugh. “What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger” – very frank, very honest and very true. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'The pink unicorns of male breast cancer'

The pink unicorns of male breast cancer (2016)

Blossom Spring Publishing

Alan Herbert is a West London born, ex forces, motorcycle riding, all action grandfather who now lives in The Netherlands with his family. In 2012, he was diagnosed with breast cancer. Alan vividly describes his battle with cancer and the often absurd situations he finds himself in as he fights not only the killer disease, but also the ignorance borne out of the feminization of breast cancer. Follow Alan’s courageous story that shows not only the determination, but the admirable spirit of a man who battled and survived. An inspirational, gripping, and down-to-earth story written from a man’s point of view in dealing with breast cancer. “Men have breasts too!” (Publisher) 

Cover image of 'In gratitude'

In gratitude (2016)

Bloomsbury Publishing

The future flashed before my eyes in all its pre-ordained banality. Embarrassment, at first, to the exclusion of all other feelings. But embarrassment curled at the edges with a weariness. I got a joke in. 'So - we'd better get cooking the meth,' I said to the Poet. In August 2014, Jenny Diski was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and given 'two or three years' to live. She didn't know how to react. All responses felt scripted, laden with cliché. Being a writer, she decided to write about it (grappling with the unoriginality even of this), and also to tell a story she has not yet told: that of being taken in, aged fifteen, by the author Doris Lessing, and the subsequent fifty years of their complex relationship. In September 2014 Jenny Diski began writing in the London Review of Books, describing her experience of living with terminal cancer, examining her life and history with Doris Lessing: the fairy-tale rescue from 'the bin' as a teenager, the difficulties of being absorbed into an unfamiliar family and the influence this had on her. Swooping from one memory to the next - alighting on the hysterical battlefield of her parental home, her expulsion from school, stacking shelves in Banbury and the drug-taking twenty-something in and out of psychiatric hospitals, Diski paints a portrait of two extraordinary writers - Lessing and herself. From one of our most original voices comes a book like no other: a cerebral, witty, dazzlingly candid masterpiece about an uneasy relationship; about memory and writing, ingratitude and anger; about living with illness and facing death. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Dying. A memoir'

Dying. A memoir (2016)

Canongate Books Ltd

At the age of sixty, Cory Taylor was dying of melanoma-related brain cancer. With her illness no longer treatable, she began at the start of 2016 to write about her experiences and, in an extraordinary creative surge, wrote what would become Dying: A Memoir. This is a brief and clear-eyed account of what dying taught Cory: amid the tangle of her feelings, she reflects on the patterns of her life, and remembers the lives and deaths of her parents. She tells us why she would like to be able to choose the circumstances of her own death. Dying is about the vulnerability and strength, courage and humility, anger and acceptance that it takes to live a good life and say goodbye to it in peace. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'They said I had six months to live. Surviving prostate cancer – 10 years on'

They said I had six months to live. Surviving prostate cancer – 10 years on (2016)

Self-published using CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

There are few things in life as shocking as finding out that you are about to die. We all know, of course, that this is an inevitable part of living but we put it out of mind. Yes life will end, but not today, not any time soon. Coming face to face with the reality that it could indeed be sometime soon is just one part of being diagnosed with terminal cancer. There are other things too - coping with treatment, coping with the side effects of treatment, dealing with the reactions of loved ones. Then there is the constant uncertainty of the next blood test, and the difficulty of getting on with everyday life, fearful of what the future might bring. However, the crunch is that this is a terminal illness which can only end one way. This is the story of how I dealt with that... (Publisher)

Cover image of 'When breath becomes air'

When breath becomes air (2016)

The Bodley Head

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'I am here. Stories from a cancer ward'

I am here. Stories from a cancer ward (2016)

Scribe Publications

Looking for more meaning in his work, Johannes Klabbers gave up a tenured academic position to spend his days caring for the sick and dying. He trained as a secular pastoral carer in a cancer hospital, and from the patients there he learned how simply talking and listening can provide comfort: from chatting about the football to discussing life’s meaning and how one prepares for death. I Am Here is a frank, moving, and sometimes funny record of his encounters. It gives an unforgettable insight into the variety of ways people cope with suffering, and suggests how we can support them — through caring, through conversation, and by acknowledging that although we may not be able to answer all of life’s questions, we can face them together. From one of the saddest places comes this powerful affirmation of our capacity for humane care. (Publisher)

Cover image of 'Marrow. A love story'

Marrow. A love story (2016)

Harper Wave (HarperCollins imprint)

The author of the New York Times bestseller Broken Open returns with a visceral and profound memoir of two sisters who, in the face of a bone marrow transplant—one the donor and one the recipient—begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and most of all, love. A mesmerizing and courageous memoir: the story of two sisters uncovering the depth of their love through the life-and-death experience of a bone marrow transplant. Throughout her life, Elizabeth Lesser has sought understanding about what it means to be true to oneself and, at the same time, truly connected to the ones we love. But when her sister Maggie needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, and Lesser learns that she is the perfect match, she faces a far more immediate and complex question about what it really means to love—honestly, generously, and authentically. Hoping to give Maggie the best chance possible for a successful transplant, the sisters dig deep into the marrow of their relationship to clear a path to unconditional acceptance. They leave the bone marrow transplant up to the doctors, but take on what Lesser calls a "soul marrow transplant," examining their family history, having difficult conversations, examining old assumptions, and offering forgiveness until all that is left is love for each other’s true selves. Their process—before, during, and after the transplant—encourages them to take risks of authenticity in other aspects their lives. But life does not follow the storylines we plan for it. Maggie’s body is ultimately too weak to fight the relentless illness. As she and Lesser prepare for the inevitable, they grow ever closer as their shared blood cells become a symbol of the enduring bond they share. Told with suspense and humor, Marrow is joyous and heartbreaking, incandescent and profound. The story reveals how even our most difficult experiences can offer unexpected spiritual growth. Reflecting on the multifaceted nature of love—love of other, love of self, love of the world—Marrow is an unflinching and beautiful memoir about getting to the very center of ourselves. (Publisher) 

Cover image of 'Tea & chemo. Fighting cancer, living life'

Tea & chemo. Fighting cancer, living life (2015)

Urbane Publications Limited

At the age of 45, wife and mother Jackie Buxton was diagnosed with breast cancer. Lurching between the crippling fear that the cancer had spread, and the great comfort of knowing she was one of the lucky ones who could be treated, she did what she always does when life presents her with a challenge: she wrote it down. Jackie quickly realised that even with cancer, life was far from bad. Never known for her scientific prowess, she nonetheless became a 'bit of an expert' - at least in the field of hair loss, water retention and biscuits - and decided to use her writing to share experiences and help others recognise you don't have to be defined by your cancer. Tea & Chemo is full of laughter, tears, honesty and hope, and offers inspirational words to everyone facing the life challenges that cancer inevitably brings. All proceeds from the sales of Tea & Chemo will go to three incredibly important charities, whose compassionate care and professionalism make the difference to so many lives: The Haven, Breast Cancer Now and The Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre, Harrogate. (Publisher)

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