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Every time you read a story, you learn new things about yourself, the world, and even about life. Each year on 7th November, National Cancer Awareness Day is observed to create awareness and prevent this lethal illness.

While there are many cancer treatments made available from the advancement in technology, if and when they are done timely, the illness still takes a ton of toll over one's mental health, whether they are the ones suffering or their caregivers. 

Books about Cancer

This 7th November, we've compiled a list of all the cancer-related books to spread mindfulness about the disease. These books are primarily memoirs or biographies based on the true accounts of cancer survivors that can help increase awareness and instill inspiration and faith in those suffering because of it. We hope you find these books helpful and enlightening.

1. My Encounter with Cancer: Memoirs of a Survivor by Jyoti Prakash Dash

My Encounter with Cancer

It is a wonderfully written memoir by a cancer patient who stayed courageous throughout the time even though clouds of disappointments did damp her hope many times. It talks about the worrying of the family and the friends, the cancer ward, the doctors, and the author waiting to live another day. 

In addition, there are several bonuses tips for healthy food for cancer patients, treatment protocols and guidelines, and other alternative treatment therapies. Jyoti Prakash Dash does an impeccable job writing about the many insecurities, fears, and moments of a letdown that many faces and share the same experience across the globe. This memoir is one of the many best books on cancer that have proved to help understand the procedures behind the treatment. You can find the book here.

2. I Am a Survivor by Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy

I Am a Survivor

Dr. Vijay Anand Reddy is an oncologist who specializes in radiation and medical oncology. In his book, he has collected the true stories of his patients, 108 in number, which stand the test of this illness against surviving and sets an honorary example for all those in a similar situation. 

In addition, the author shares his observations and tips on the patients' several conditions, their suitable treatment choices, and other information for similar cases. It is a collection of stories that embarks on a journey from helplessness to hopefulness and is a must-read for all. You can find the book here.

3. Close to the Bone by Lisa Ray

Close to the Bone

Lisa Ray is the 1970s born mix-raced supermodel with two kids and a life-threatening illness called Multiple Myeloma. This memoir is a rollercoaster ride that will make you laugh out loud but has chapters to weep on as well. 

Lisa's story takes a brush on her journey with becoming a supermodel, to the Oscars, to having two kids with surrogacy, to being the Top Chef Canada host while struggling with eating disorders, and being a cancer survivor. 

This is a courageous, unapologetic story of Lisa Ray that is an inspiration to many and can be thoroughly enjoyed at all times. You can find the book here.

4. Healed: How Cancer Gave Me a New Life by Manisha Koirala

Healed by Manisha Koirala

Manisha Koirala's book only does as much a brush over her life as a movie actress and focuses only on her journey as a cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with stage-4 ovarian cancer, which she had initially mistaken as some digestive issues in her stomach. 

She explained her journey thoroughly, passing over the diagnosis, her second opinion in Mumbai, her treatment in New York, and her newly gained perspective on life. This is a powerful story about having the strength and never give up attitude, and how falling ill gave a new definition to her life and transformed her mind to appreciate the good in everything. You can find the book here.

5. Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person: A Memoir in Comics
by Miriam Engelberg

Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person

This graphic memoir by Miriam Engelberg is the best cancer book that you can read this National Cancer Awareness Day! The casually, clumsily drawn graphics take the reading experience to a whole new level. 

It's a vivid tale of the author, who has breast cancer. She tackles such a serious subject with a sense of dark humor, bravery, and introspection. You can find the book here.

6. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

Doctors are considered Gods because they save people's lives. Paul Kalanithi was a doctor, an excellent neurosurgeon who closely watched death and life. Or so he had thought, at least. But, unfortunately, this doctor had become a patient of cancer. As a result, all of his life plans and dreams started seeming like a far-fetched mirage. 

This book is a reflective conversation of the author with himself, asking questions on life, death, and the meaning of it all. It is poetically articulated and filled with beautiful philosophy. The memoir spans the time across Paul Kalanithi's earlier life and how he decided to become a neurosurgeon and his later life where he honestly introspects the meaning of life.

Although the book was published after the death of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, it leaves this deeply thought-provoking memoir that is both important as it will teach you the critical lessons of living and also heart-breaking at the same time. You can find the book here.

7. A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles: A True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer by Mary Elizabeth Williams

True Story of Love, Science, and Cancer

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a journalist who, in her forties, got diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. With the survival clock ticked around her, she becomes a part of a revolutionary cancer clinical trial called immunotherapy that vanquishes the malignant cells. She recovers in two weeks, just as her best friend embarks on her cancer journey with very different results. 

This is a brutally honest memoir of Mary Williams, who explains the science behind cancer, how treatment works, and her experience as the first immunotherapy trier to make history. The author does excellent wordplay with cancer terms to add a little humor to the seriousness while still providing practical information about the treatment and managing the illness itself. You can find the book here.

8. The Cancer Survivors Club: A Collection of Inspirational and Uplifting Stories by Chris Geiger

Cancer Survivors Club

This is a collected survey of cancer survivors and their journey battling against life-threatening illnesses. These are unflinchingly candid and inspiring stories about their personal experiences through some of their darkest moments in life.

How they found their strength and the support they got from their families and friends is worth reading. These stories offer hope, determination, and a sense of soundness to various cancer survivors with rare and diverse cancer cases. You can find the book here.

9. Living Life 90 Days at a Time: A Sarcoma Survivors Journey by Thom J Schmenk

Living Life 90 Days

Sarcoma is one of the most commonly occurring cancers amongst patients, and this is a memoir about having enough willpower to deal with anything. The author's cancer journey begins with identifying an egg-shaped bulged-out tumor that takes a while to get diagnosed and then find his destined oncologist in South Carolina. 

This is an inspiring memoir for anyone on the same road as recently diagnosed with cancer or recovering and people who want to learn more about the illness. You can find the book here.

10. Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose by Joe Biden

Promise Me, Dad

Promise Me, Dad is the true-life account of Beau, Joe Biden's son, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2014 and passed away the following year. This memoir is an uplifting yet moving story of a family that has been challenged with so many things. So, it
 is when a promise was made between a son and a father, when Beau asked that whatever happens, for Joe to be alright no matter what. 

It was the year when Obama was the President and Joe, the vice president who was thinking of standing in the presidency in 2016 and the challenges he faced after his son died. It is a true story about faith and family that everyone should read on this Cancer Awareness Day. You can find the book here.

11. Life Interrupted: Dr. Dua's Survival Guide by Dr. Manu Dua

Life Interrupted

Dr. Dua was a Canadian dentist who was diagnosed with cancer when he was entering his 30s, and this book accounts for the powerful and encouraging blogs he wrote about his illness, his opinion on life, and to provide a way for people on the same journey to feel understood and seen. The blogs were published post-humously in the form of this book after Dr. Dua passed away, and it provides a great deal of wisdom about life teachings. You can find the book here.

12. The Unwinding of the Miracle: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Everything that Comes After
by Julie Yip-Williams

Unwinding of the Miracle

Julie Yip-Williams's life has been no less than an adventure. She was blind at birth and had nearly survived euthanasia before her family fled from Vietnam to avoid the political upheaval. Her later journeys took her to the US, where she got her sight. 

She became a Harvard-educated lawyer, got married, had kids, and was then diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, proclaiming a new unsolicited adventure in her life. This book is a heart-breaking but honestly documented memoir of her journey that teaches us the power of love, hope, and fearlessness to fight cancer. You can find the book here.

Living life with cancer is challenging. Therefore, the books mentioned above are compiled keeping in mind the honesty behind the process of treatments while still promising the power of being hopeful in one's journey. 

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