Inspirational Quotes for People with Cancer

Thoughts for Each Stage of the Cancer Journey

Quotes can inspire people in many ways, especially when faced with a frightening diagnosis of cancer.  Having been down this road personally and with friends, I collected some of my favorite quotes for each step of the journey.  I hope they bring you strength, courage, hope, and few smiles along the way.  - Dr. Lynne

When You are Newly Diagnosed


It can be terrifying when you are first diagnosed, and it may help to realize that the number of cancer survivors in the United States and worldwide is growing, and that many of these people live fruitful, rewarding, and joyful lives following treatment.

"Cancer is a word, not a sentence." - John Diamond

During Treatment

National Cancer Institute, Rhoda Baer (photographer)

 We often hurry to finish this phase - essentially putting life on hold until treatment is finished.  But even during the worst of these days you may find meaning and joy, and many people look back fondly on these days of treatment even with the side effects.

"Look to this day for it is life.  For yesterday is already a dream and tomorrow is only a vision.  But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope." - Sanskrit Proverb

"Some days there won't be a song in your heart.  Sing anyway."- Emory Austin

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.  These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.  Beautiful people do not just happen." - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Quotes if You Have Surgery

National Cancer Institute, John Crawford (photographer)

"For every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story.  A story that says, "I Survived!"  - Craig Scott"

When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold.  They believe that when something's suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful." - Barbara Bloom

Living with Cancer

National Cancer Institute, Bill Branson (photographer)

"Remember.  You're not dying from cancer...  Your'e living with it!" - Unknown source

"More than 10 million Americans are living with cancer, and they demonstrate the ever increasing possibility of living beyond cancer." - Sheryl Crow

Quotes for Loved Ones of Cancer Patients

National Cancer Institute, Bill Branson (photographer)

Nobody experiences cancer in a vacuum, and it's important to not only acknowledge the support from loved ones, but their pain as well.

"When one person gets cancer, the whole family gets cancer." - Shirley Corder

Quotes for Those Who Smoked

7980296206_5ec0a3f2b5_b.jpg HKD/Creative Commons

"Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard

Quotes When Faced With the Stigma of Lung Cancer


 "I am the only 'celebrity' to be public about my lung cancer." - Kathryn Joosten

In fact, there are many celebrities who have lived with lung cancer, but yes, the stigma has held back the words of many.

Religious Quotes


"Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death." - Unknown source

"And I am sure of this, that he would began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." - Philippians 1:16

Quotes for When Treatment Fails


 "To live in the hearts of those we love is to never die." - Thomas Campbell

Quotes for Those Who Grieve


"Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come." - Rabindranath Tagore

"Seeing death as the end of life is like seeing the horizon at the end of the ocean." - David Searls


There is Always Hope

No matter where you are in your journey, or what your prognosis, there is always hope. It may be hope for a new treatment, or for a clinical trial. It may be hope that you are able to get pregnant after treatment. Or it may be hope for a good death at home, and hope for joyful lives for those you leave behind. "Hope is the thing with feathers-- That perches in the soul-- And sings the tune without words-- And never stops--at all..." - Emily Dickinson