Guide to Support Resources

Cancer is one of the most feared words in the English language. But we do know that many patients with cancer can be cured or given years of comfortable, productive life after the disease is diagnosed. One way to help conquer fear and make the most of those years is to learn more about cancer.

At Dartmouth Cancer Center, we are dedicated to helping you find the information you need to make good decisions about your care, and to deal with the consequences of living with cancer.

This web page describes resources at the Dartmouth Cancer Center and in the community. We hope it will guide you to supportive programs and information, and stimulate questions to help you understand your situation.

Cancer Help Line: (800) 639-6918

The Dartmouth Cancer Center Help Line gives information about cancer treatment, prevention, support groups, programs and events, and other resources related to cancer. The Help Line is staffed from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays. At other times, you may leave a voicemail message. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. To reach a live assistant 24 hours a day, please call the American Cancer Society at 800-ACS-2345. To reach the Dartmouth Cancer Center Help Line, call 1-800-639-6918.

Your health care providers

Your doctors and nurses are your primary sources of information. Other members of your cancer team-social worker, dietitian, rehabilitation specialists, and other staff members-also are committed to meeting your needs. If one of these people cannot answer your question, another member of the team can. We hope you will ask questions until you have answers you understand.

Complementary Care Program

The Complementary Care Program at Dartmouth Cancer Center addresses physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs, with the aim to improve the comfort level and quality of life of people living with cancer and their loved ones. We offer a variety of classes, programs, and support groups. Check our programs.

Visit our listing of events for the dates and times of upcoming classes and programs.

Our creative arts program is a joint project between the Dartmouth Cancer Center and Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center Arts Program. Currently all creative arts visits and classes are offered virtually. To contact a creative artist, please message

Call the office of Patient and Family Support Services at 603-650-7751 or email for additional information.

Patient and Family Resource Library

The Patient and Family Resource Library, located on Level 2 of Dartmouth Cancer Center contains comfortable seating areas, a computer and printer for patient and family use, and a helpful selection of books, DVD's and CD's to borrow.

Resources for young adult cancer survivors

A cancer diagnosis is devastating no matter what age you are, but being diagnosed with it in your younger years brings its own set of challenges. If you’re between 18 and 40 and have been affected by cancer, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center offers resources specific to you.

Consumer Health Collection

A Consumer Health Collection is available in an alcove of the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library on the top floor at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, overlooking the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center information desk in the rotunda. The collection contains books, journals, newsletters, and videotapes on a wide variety of health subjects, including cancer. You can use computer and print indexes to find information on specific subjects. Helpful librarians can find what you need in the Library's extensive collection of books and journals written for health care professionals. Call (603) 650-7660. Another cancer information resource is Dana Biomedical Library on the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth campus in Hanover; call: (603) 650-1660.

Women's Health Resource Center

The Women's Health Resource Center (WHRC) supports women in making informed, efficient decisions about health care. It offers books, videos and audio tapes, and interactive programs on decisions about breast cancer, and publishes a quarterly newsletter. The WHRC coordinates public health programs and events for women with cancer. The WHRC is located on the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center mall in Lebanon, New Hampshire. For more information, to make an appointment, or to be placed on the WHRC mailing list, call (603) 650-HERS.

Familial Cancer Program (Cancer Risk Assessment)

The Familial Cancer Program (Cancer Risk Assessment) at Dartmouth Cancer Center is a service for people with a strong family history of cancer. Anyone concerned about the possibility that there is an inherited risk of cancer in his or her family can receive counseling. The program's physicians and staff help patients understand their risks of cancer, and recommend appropriate screening measures. For some people, genetic tests will be recommended to help determine whether they have inherited a tendency to develop cancer. Participation in this program is optional and confidential. For more information, please call (800) 251-0097 or (603) 653-3541.

Office of Care Management

In the Office of Care Management at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, social workers who specialize in cancer care can provide assistance and information about financial and legal assistance, advance directives, support groups, transportation, and other resources. Short-term counseling for patients and families is offered. Call: (603) 650-5789.

NCI Cancer Information Service

The NCI Cancer Information Service is a free service of the National Cancer Institute that helps callers with questions about symptoms, treatment, and other topics related to cancer. Call (800) 4-CANCER.

The National Cancer Institute can answer questions about cancer treatment, how to manage symptoms, diet, finances, family issues, sexuality (men), sexuality (women), cancer prevention, alternative treatments, and many other topics.

Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of VT and NH

The focus of Hospice care is to help a patient live as fully and comfortably as possible until he or she dies as peacefully as possible. The Hospice Medical Benefit can be used by all Medicare-enrolled individuals facing an incurable illness. Hospice staff can provide physical, emotional, social, and spiritual care for those faced with a life-limiting illness. Hospice also offers compassionate care for those feeling loss and grief. Visit the Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice of Vermont & New Hampshire website for more information.

Palliative Care

The Palliative Care team is available to assist patients and families with the most difficult aspects of living with cancer. Specially trained doctors, nurse practitioners, a social worker, and chaplain focus on improving the patient's comfort and quality of life. Throughout the course of cancer treatment the palliative care specialists aid the cancer doctors and nurses in treating symptoms, such as pain, nausea, or shortness of breath. They can also help patients adapt to changes in their ability to maintain daily routines.

American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society delivers cancer information, treatment options, and services to patients with cancer, especially the newly diagnosed, and their families and caregivers. Through programs such as Reach to Recovery, Look Good...Feel Better, and Road to Recovery, the American Cancer Society can improve the lives of cancer survivors. For cancer information or support services 24 hours a day, call 1.800.ACS.2345 or visit