About Us

When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer it’s hard to know what to do or say. We worry that if we say the wrong thing, we might upset our loved ones and if we do the wrong thing it might somehow make them worse.

CancerPal is here to help by sharing information, advice & practical tips to support and comfort your loved one. We also list hundreds of products in our CancerPal MarketPlace that have been recommended to help ease the nasty side effects of cancer treatments.

There’s a lot of cancer related information available, but much of it focuses on the clinical or medical side of things. CancerPal provides practical advice on how to deal with the symptoms and side effects of cancer treatment from those who have been affected by cancer.

"Doctors tell you what is going to happen with your treatment - but other patients tell you how to cope with it" 

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Me and my amazing Mum xxx

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Jo Riley, Founding Director, CancerPal
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My Story

When my beautiful, amazing and precious Mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2015 my whole world changed forever.

I was thrust unwillingly into the world of cancer, which involved a whole new language of oncology related terms, endless hospital appointments, the constant worry of ‘scanxiety’ and of course the total unbearableness of watching someone you love suffer that much. Plus as Mum’s condition worsened I became a primary carer – not the job I had originally applied for!

I felt completely helpless - I just didn't know what I could do to help make Mum feel better. And I also felt extremely isolated - I hadn’t been affected by cancer before. I was aware of the hair loss, but a sensitive scalp, scorched skin from radiotherapy, mouth sores and taste changes were all new and unexpected.

I literally spent hundreds of hours googling and trying to find people who were going through the same things as Mum. I soon realised that sadly lots of people have been through cancer and that actually there's a wealth of knowledge and experience out there and lots of ways I could help Mum - whether that was tips and ideas on how to ease the side effects of cancer treatment or simply advice and support on how to deal with the emotional side of things, I felt comforted knowing I was doing my best to care for and support Mum.

When Mum sadly died in January 2018, everything felt so meaningless, including my job in the corporate world, and I knew I wanted to do something different. I set up CancerPal to help anyone that has been affected by cancer, but I especially hope that by offering support and advice to the family & friends of those going through cancer, they in turn are better equipped to comfort their loved ones with cancer.

The first few cancer care boxes that I created were based on the very boxes that I lovingly researched and prepared for Mum and I'll never forget how much those little boxes meant to Mum - they represented the fact that I had tried to understand (just a little bit) what she was going through.

I hope CancerPal can help you understand what your loved one is going through and can help you provide the care and support they need. 

CancerPal also campaigns to help remove the stigma associated with cancer and terminal illness. We believe that people don’t talk about cancer and dying because we are scared of the unknown. By opening up the conversation we hope to make cancer and terminal illness a little less scary.

And of course CancerPal is hugely supportive of the 6.8 million unpaid carers in the UK today.


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Jo Riley, Founding Director, CancerPal
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