Finding a Support Buddy

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 04/2018

Many people with cancer may experience fear, anger, or sadness. Most family members and friends want to offer their help and support. But discussing cancer with someone who has never had the disease can be difficult.

Support groups are a good place to connect with other people coping with cancer. Connecting with a survivor of the same type of cancer who has faced the same issues you are facing may also help. Many organizations offer “buddy programs” that match you with a survivor of the same type of cancer. Through this relationship, you get one-on-one support throughout your cancer treatment.

General buddy programs

  • Imerman Angels (866-463-7626) matches a person with cancer with someone who has completed treatment for the same type of cancer. The program also matches caregivers.

  • American Cancer Society: Reach to Recovery (800-227-2345) connects men and women with breast cancer to breast cancer survivors. Participants can also receive information on various breast cancer issues and concerns.

  • Cancer Hope Network (800-552-4366) has been providing one-on-one peer support for cancer patients and the people who love them for 40 years, connecting them with trained Support Volunteers who provide first-hand experience, mentoring and hope.

  • Colorectal Cancer Alliance Buddy Program (877-422-2030) matches a survivor with a person with colorectal cancer. In addition to receiving emotional support, people with cancer learn about treatment, side effects, and other important issues.

  • Lung Cancer Alliance Phone Buddy Program (800-298-2436) matches people living with lung cancer with volunteers who have completed or are going through lung cancer treatment. Caregivers and family members also can be matched with a buddy who is coping with a similar situation.

For young adults

Young adults can research the following options to find and connect with someone their age who has faced a similar type of cancer:

  • The Ulman Foundation (888-393-3863) offers the Patient Navigation program to provide resources and support for young adults dealing with cancer.

  • Young Survival Coalition SurvivorLink (877-972-1011) allows young women with breast cancer to connect with fellow patients and survivors who volunteer in this program. SurvivorLink matches women based on specific concerns and issues, such mastectomy and breast reconstruction, cultural issues, advanced disease, and family risk of breast cancer.

To find out more about buddy and support programs offered by other organizations, review a list of general cancer groups and cancer-specific resources. If you know of programs that are not listed here or of corrections to this information, please email

This list is provided for informational purposes only. Cancer.Net and ASCO do not endorse the content, operators, products, or services of such applications and websites and are not responsible directly or indirectly for any damages or injury caused by or in connection with use of any content, products, or services available through third-party applications and websites. As always, be sure to talk with your health care team about any questions you may have about information you find.

Related Resources

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