Leading Cancer Charities and 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 (in no particular order) that aid in cancer research and that help patients and their families live their best lives. It is recommended, however, that you do your research and explore these organizations completely to see if they truly align with your intentions and are worthy of your support.


Lance Armstrong for Livestrong Foundation
Tom Pennington/Getty

LIVESTRONG is a survivor itself. It was first included on this list before the fall from grace of founder Lance Armstrong, who is no longer involved with the charity but is still a donor. Nobody can dispute that Lance Armstrong went through devastating cancer treatment before his tainted Tour de France wins. He founded this organization to advocate cancer survivorship and it lives on.

The organization's motto is obviously "live strong." But it is the fighting spirit of this motto that inspires the many who face cancer. Livestrong has an excellent support website for patients of all ages.

American Institute for Cancer Research

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 the 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 it is one of the only organizations with a grant review process that meets the standards of the National Cancer Institute. AICR also works to dispel the myth that cancer only affects the unfortunate and educates and promotes public awareness of new findings in cancer prevention and risk reduction.

Gilda's Club/Cancer Support Community

This organization was founded in honor of Gilda Radner, who lost her battle with cancer years ago. Its mission is to focus on living with cancer and to offer emotional and social support. As its motto states, "Living with cancer? Come as you are!" 

In 2009, the 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.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society (ACS) is the largest non-governmental funder of cancer research in the United States. It has been hard at work for over 100 years and has almost countless programs and means of support and education for patients and their families.

From classes that boost the self-esteem of chemotherapy patients to fundraisers that really do bring people together, ACS provides a wide range of services for people with every type of cancer. You can find many fun ways to support them and volunteer with them as they strive to create "a world with more birthdays."

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