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Patient and Health Care Consumer Education Guide: Getting Started with Cancer Research

Guiding patients, family members, caregivers, consumers, and the larger MSK community to cancer information.

This page is for those who would like to know more about cancer or are interested in starting their own searches.

The text "Getting Started with Cancer Research" in white on a purple flower background.

Cancer Librarians at the MSK Library

Please note that MSK Library Services are for MSK patients and their family members and caregivers.

If you have any questions about finding information or support, librarians at the MSK Library are available to help!

Understanding Cancer and Finding Support

Great places to start:

Other sites for clear and comprehensive information:

    • A resource with information on cancer types and treatments, various support topics, and a cancer survivorship care plan builder. Also available in Spanish.
  • CancerCare
    • Offers a variety of support options, the ability to search by diagnosis or topic, and a service where you can pose questions to a monthly expert. Also available in Spanish.
  • Cancer Support Community
    • Various forms of support and information for those newly diagnosed, in treatment, post-treatment, or supporting someone experiencing cancer.

General Information on Cancer

Searching for Articles Online

  • National Library of Medicine (NLM): PubMed
    • PubMed is a free search engine with millions of records on life science and biomedical topics. Not all articles you find here will include the abstract (i.e. summary) or a link to the full paper, but it's a great place to start. The United States' National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) maintains this database, and they have a PubMed Online Training page to show you how it works.
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM): PubMed Central (PMC)
    • PMC is a part of PubMed, and the added benefit of searching here specifically is that all the articles you find will link to the full paper.

Other Cancer Librarians as Resources

If you'd like to continue to explore online, look to Recommended Websites for Cancer Information, one of three resources maintained by the Medical Library Association's Cancer Librarians Caucus, a professional group of cancer librarians.

From their Core Cancer Library, here are books you may find interesting, available to purchase or find at your local library:

And if you want to locate a specific cancer library in your area, look to their Partial List of Patient Cancer Libraries in the United States and Canada.

Your MSK Library Team

Want to learn more about library support?

Library Home Page: the MSK Library provides both virtual and in-person resources and services.

Reference Services: the line to reach our Reference team to ask a question is (212) 639-7439. Visit our Ask Us page to also reach out via email or chat.


Want to add a resource? Have questions or comments?

The content of this guide is a work in progress, and we'd love to hear from you to learn what features you'd like to see, and what information is most important to your care or the care of a loved one.

Please use the Feedback button at the top of the page to reach out.