Four Favorite Cancer Organizations

With the large number of cancer organizations established today, it can be difficult to decide which one to contribute to or spend your volunteer time supporting. This short list highlights my favorite organizations that aid in cancer research and in helping cancer patients and their families. They are in no particular order, and I recommend you explore them to see if they are worthy of your support.

The American Cancer Society

Lance Armstrong for Livestrong Foundation
Lance Armstrong speaks on behalf of the Livestrong Foundation. Tom Pennington/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

The American Cancer Society (ACS) has almost countless programs and means of support and education for patients and their families. They provide a wide range of services for people with every type of cancer. From classes that boost the self-esteem of chemotherapy patients, to fundraisers that really do bring people together, it was impossible that the ACS didn't make this list. You can find many fun ways to support them and volunteer with them. They have been at it for over 100 years. The other factor is that the ACS is the largest nongovernmental funder of cancer research in the United States. They are trying to work themselves out of a job, creating "a world with more birthdays."

More »

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

This organization was founded because of a promise between Nancy G. Brinker and her dying sister, Susan G. Komen. The foundation hopes to eradicate the disease, having invested more than 2.6 billion dollars since 1982. They are one of the best when it comes to cancer organizations. If the only thing you know about Komen is the Race for the Cure, you are seeing only a small part of their public face. The foundation attacks breast cancer in multiple ways. They fund research, community health outreach, advocacy and public policy initiatives. They are in 30 countries around the world. They have helplines, message boards and programs for breast cancer patients and survivors. They fund research and clinical trials. They fund breast cancer education and screening programs in 18,000 communities in the U.S. They are the voice of breast cancer patients and survivors in advocating for public policy.

More »

Gilda's Club - Cancer Support Community

Gilda's Club's motto is "Living with Cancer? Come as you are!" This organization was founded in honor of Gilda Radner, who lost her battle with cancer years ago. Their mission is to focus on living with cancer and to offer emotional and social support. This is by far one of my favorites. In 2009, it merged with The Wellness Community to become the Cancer Support Community. It continues to provide emotional and social support through local affiliates and satellite locations.

More »

The Livestrong Foundation

The Livestrong Foundation is a survivor itself. It was first included on this list before the fall from grace of founder Lance Armstrong, who is no longer in the charity organization but is a donor. Their motto is "Live Strong." The fighting spirit of the motto is inspiring to many who face cancer. They have an excellent support website for patients of all ages. Nobody can dispute that Lance went through devastating cancer treatment before his tainted Tour de France wins. He founded this organization to advocate cancer survivorship. It lives on.

More »

Continue Reading