Leading Cancer Charities & 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 the favored organizations that aid in cancer research and in helping cancer patients and their families. They are in no particular order and it is recommended that you explore them to see if they are worthy of your support.

Lance Armstrong for Livestrong Foundation
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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.


Founded in 1982, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is among the leading organizations that provide funding for research among universities, hospitals, and research centers in the United States and abroad. What makes them stand out even more, though, is that AICR focuses its efforts on lifestyle elements like diet and physical activity and their significant roles in cancer prevention.

AICR funds cutting-edge research that marries science with lifestyle changes to ward of cancer and are one of the only organizations with a grant review process that meets the standards of the National Cancer Institute. They work to dispel the myth that cancer only affects the unfortunate and work to educate and promote public awareness of new findings in cancer prevention and risk reduction.


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 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 and have helplines, message boards, and programs for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Additionally, they fund research, clinical trials, and education and screening programs in 18,000 communities in the United Stated. They are the voice of breast cancer patients and survivors in advocating for public policy.


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.

In 2009, this organization 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.


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."


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