What is the Cancer Information Service?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
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The Cancer Information Service (CIS) is an outreach and education program that has been provided by the National Cancer Institute in the United States since 1975. It provides members of the public with information about many aspects of cancer, from prevention to living with cancer. A number of hospitals and universities have their own cancer information services designed along a similar model, and there are also similar organizations located around the world providing people with information about cancer that they can use to make informed decisions about their lives and medical care.

The Cancer Information Service provides information through a number of media, including over the phone, in email, and in written correspondence. People can access information through the service for no fee. The United States government provides funding to keep the service running and the National Cancer Institute contracts out some of the work to keep the program affordable to run, ensuring that it will always be available to members of the public.

People who have been diagnosed with cancer can call the Cancer Information Service to get up to date information in clear language about the cancer that they have. This information includes the latest statistics on survival and different available treatments. People can also get information through the service about diagnostic testing, monitoring, and what to expect while in the hospital and while receiving treatments like radiation and chemotherapy. Information about current clinical trials is also provided.


Family and friends can use the Cancer Information Service to get information that they can use to help support their loved ones through cancer diagnosis and treatment. Consulting the Cancer Information Service will allow people to get accurate and current information that they can use while discussing treatment options with their loved ones. While the patient has the final say in treatment decisions, it can be helpful for friends and family to have detailed information about the patient's condition and the available options so that if they are asked to take a more active role, they are prepared.

The service also provides information about preventative screening, early symptoms, risks, and steps people can take to reduce their cancer risk. People concerned about cancer detection can get information from the Cancer Information Service. The organization also provides assistance with smoking cessation. Smoking has been identified as a major cancer risk and the government funds a number of programs for people who want help as they attempt to quit smoking. The Cancer Information Service can connect people with services like counseling and free smoking cessation products that may be available in their areas.



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