Be the Boss Over Cancer

This resource is listed under: Support Services, Legal, Studies

Web Site:

Phone Number: 800-422-6237


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is one of 11 agencies that compose the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The NCI, established under the National Cancer Institute Act of 1937, is the Federal Government's principal agency for cancer research and training. The National Cancer Act of 1971 broadened the scope and responsibilities of the NCI and created the National Cancer Program. Over the years, legislative amendments have maintained the NCI authorities and responsibilities and added new information dissemination mandates as well as a requirement to assess the incorporation of state-of-the-art cancer treatments into clinical practice.

The National Cancer Institute coordinates the National Cancer Program, which conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.

This Cancer Information Service program offers toll-free telephone calls to knowledgeable, caring staffers who are experienced at explaining medical information in easy-to-understand terms. Information specialists at the number (dial 1-800-4CANCER, or 1-800-422-6237) answer calls in English and Spanish. They also provide information to deaf and hard-of-hearing callers through the toll-free TTY number (1-800-332-8615). The confidential service is a program of the National Cancer Institute, and the staff has access to comprehensive information on a range of cancer topics, including the most recent advances in cancer treatment. The CIS also provides live, online assistance to users of NCI Web sites (, through LiveHelp, an instant messaging service available from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.