Cancer information in other languages and formats - Maggie's Centres

Cancer information in other languages and formats


You may be looking for cancer information in another language or format for yourself, or someone you know with a cancer diagnosis.

It is helpful to know about interpreter services, and this includes any language, including signing and braille, for example. You may also be looking for support outside the UK  for yourself or for someone else.

Many organisations produce information on particular cancers in other languages and formats so it is worth contacting them to see if they can help. You can also visit our ‘cancer types’ pages  for further contacts

Find out more here about where you can get information in your own language, or preferred format, and how Maggie’s can help.

Cancer information in other languages and formats

You may be looking for cancer information in another language or format for yourself, or someone you know with a cancer diagnosis. It is likely to be a worrying time, and you may have questions or concerns.

Other languages

You may manage well when speaking and understanding English, but medical conversations can sometimes be challenging. It’s important that you understand the information you’re given about your diagnosis and possible treatments, so that you can ask questions and take an active role in your treatment discussions.

Many people ask a friend or family member to interpret for them.  Whilst this is understandable, it isn’t recommended.  When you’re relying on friends and family they may not always translate accurately, or they may be worried about upsetting you. It could be stressful for you too, if the family member (particularly a child) would not usually discuss personal information with you.

Letting your doctor and healthcare team know that you will need information and support in your language, will help them provide what you need.  Many GP surgeries and hospitals have access to language helplines, which offer translation and interpretation services.   

Most hospitals have cancer information points - where you can access information in several different languages. Your specialist nurse, doctor or clinic staff may provide written information in your own language too.

Cancer websites and charities often provide a range of online information and downloadable booklets in other languages. There are websites and helplines  which focus on specific cancer types, and they usually include links to information in several languages and formats. It is worth contacting them to see if they can help. 

You can visit our ‘cancer type’ pages for further useful contacts. Alternatively, you can  drop into your local Maggie’s centre for information booklets or printed information from lots of organisations.

For basic information many people find ‘Google translate’, a web based tool is helpful, as it instantly translate words, phrases and web pages, in over a hundred different languages. Although very useful the translations may not always be completely accurate so don’t rely on this alone for medical  information. 

Other formats

There is information available in other formats too.  It may be that you need cancer information for someone visually impaired, for example. It can be helpful to access information in larger font, braille, or in an audio format.  

Cancer charities, particularly Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support have a range of information covering special and intellectual needs, and visual impairment. (You may prefer information in braille, or audio format).

With total hearing loss it you may wish have a sign language interpreter present, and hospitals, GP surgeries and clinics can access this for you, although they would need prior notice.  It is useful to let the health teams know if you will need information in other formats, so they can access this for you beforehand.

How Maggie’s can help

If you drop into your local Maggie’s centre, you can ask for advice about accessing information in other languages or formats . We may have the written information you require or can guide you to the websites and booklets  or books you need.  You’ll be warmly welcomed, and can find out the range of workshops, courses and support that we provide.

You will find useful links  to general cancer websites which provides information in different language formats at the bottom of this page.


What now?

Ask your health care team for an interpreter for clinic appointments  do this in advance as it may take time to arrange an interpreter.

Call into Maggie’s and our cancer support specialists can help you to access information in your language

Have a look at the links below  to find further sources of cancer information in other countries, languages and formats.


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