The following article is the most comprehensive list of the best inspiring, motivational and wise quotes on cancer: surviving, understanding, living with it. The sayings are made by different people: doctors, survivors, celebrities. There are more than 100 quotes covering different aspects (e.g. cancer in general, breast cancer). The list is divided into two sections: 1) Inspirational quotes; 2) Breast cancer quotes (in the bottom).

Top Inspirational Cancer Quotes


“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa


“You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”


“Since I had cancer I’ve realised that every day is a bonus.” – Geoffrey Boycott


Cancer Quotes


“I’m going to beat this cancer or die trying.” – Michael Landon


“Cancer opens many doors. One of the most important is your heart.” – Greg Anderson


“I think cancer is a hard battle to fight alone or with another person at your side, but I will say having someone to pick you up when you fall, stand by your side through every appointment and delivery of bad news, is priceless.” – Jenna Morasca


“The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.” – Nikolai Lenin


“I’m in good shape. My cancer means I have lost a lot of organs and I’m a lot lighter. I have devoted myself to yoga and I’m doing handstands.” – Eve Ensler


“Hope is grief’s best music.”


“Cancer has shown me what family is. It showed me a love that I never knew really existed.” – Michael Douglas


“Working out is my way of saying to cancer, ‘You’re trying to invade my body; you’re trying to take me away from my daughters, but I’m stronger than you. And I’m going to hit harder than you.” – Stuart Scott


“Above all, cancer is a spiritual practice that teaches me about faith and resilience.” – Kris Carr


“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and twice as beautiful as you’d ever imagined.”


“Beating cancer is personal battle. It was one of the toughest opponents I have faced so far, and I think I did reasonably well. Touch wood.” – Yuvraj Singh


“You know, once you’ve stood up to cancer, everything else feels like a pretty easy fight.” – David H. Koch


“You can be a victim of cancer, or a survivor of cancer. It’s a mindset.” – Dave Pelzer


Cancer Quotes


“Cancer may have started the fight, but I will finish it.”


“I’m battling cancer. It’s another battle I intend to win.” – Arlen Specter


“Movies are fun, but they are no cure for cancer.” – Clint Eastwood


“Cancer is a word, not a sentence.” – John Diamon


“I want to see cancer cured in my lifetime. It might be.” – James D. Watson


“Strength is born in the deep silence of long-suffering hearts; not amidst joy.” – Felicia Hemans


“We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.” – Lance Armstrong


“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.”


“Now I’m fighting cancer, everybody knows that. People ask me all the time about how you go through your life and how’s your day, and nothing is changed for me.” – Jim Valvano


“Beat cancer. Small steps every day.”


“Once cancer happens it changes the way you live for the rest of your life.” – Hayley Mills


“When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them does, too.” – Terri Clark


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at a time of challenge and controversy.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


“Time is shortening. But every day that I challenge this cancer and survive is a victory for me.” – Ingrid Bergman


“I want men to know that things really do get better — and they get better fairly rapidly. Don’t get discouraged.” – George Campbell, prostate cancer survivor


“Scars are tattoos with better stories.” – Unknown


Cancer Quotes


“Hope is the physician of each misery.” – Irish proverb


“Cancer is a journey, but you walk the road alone. There are many places to stop along the way and get nourishment – you just have to be willing to take it.” – Emily Hollenberg, cancer survivor


“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill


“Some days there won’t be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.” – Emory Austin


“What Cancer Cannot Do: Cancer is so limited. It cannot cripple LOVE. It cannot shatter HOPE. It cannot corrode FAITH. It cannot destroy PEACE. It cannot kill FRIENDSHIP. It cannot suppress MEMORIES. It cannot silence COURAGE. It cannot invade the SOUL. It cannot steal eternal LIFE. It cannot conquer the APIRIT.”


“Cancer didn’t bring me to my knees, it brought me to my feet.” – Michael Douglas


“Never give up. Life is worth living. There is life after cancer.”


“Oh, my friend, it’s not what they take away from you that counts – it’s what you do with what you have left.” – Hubert Humphrey, after cancer surgery in 1978


“Always remember that your present situation is not your final destination. The best is yet to come.”


“Cancer affects all of us, whether you’re a daughter, mother, sister, friend, coworker, doctor, or patient.” – Jennifer Aniston


“More than 10 million Americans are living with cancer, and they demonstrate the ever-increasing possibility of living beyond cancer.” – Sheryl Crow


Cancer Quotes


“Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.”


“Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.” – Hippocrates


“There is no hope unmingled with fear, no fear unmingled with hope.” – Baruch Spinoza


“Cricket is my life. Before the cancer, I was happy-go-lucky. I used to think about my career and worry about the future. But post it, my thinking has completely changed. I’m happy to eat and breathe normally. I’m happy to have my life back.” – Yuvraj Singh


“Optimism is the foundation of courage.” – Nicholas Murray Butler


“A cancer diagnosis changes you forever. You always remember the moment it came.”


“The human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” – C.C. Scott


“Never, never, never give up.” – Winston Churchill


“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon


“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”


“Cancer can take away all of my physical abilities. It cannot touch my mind, it cannot touch my heart, and it cannot touch my soul.” – Jim Valvano


“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” – Cayla Mills


“Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone: friendship in another’s trials and courage in your own.” – Princess Diana


“Cancer is that awful word we all fear when we go to the doctor for a physical exam, but in that brief dark moment we hear it the world we live in and the people we share it with begin to illuminate things we did not even pay attention to.” – BD Phillips


“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me.” – Dr. Seuss


“We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.”


Cancer Quotes


“Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.”


“Toughness is in the soul and spirit, not in muscles.” – Alex Karras


“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” – Maori Proverb


“Don’t count the days, make the days count.” – Muhammad Ali


“Life is without meaning. You bring the meaning to it. The meaning of life is whatever you ascribe it to be. Being alive is the meaning.” – Joseph Campbell


“Now I’ve thought of another: Never give up. Never surrender.” – Jason Nesmit


“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.” – Scott Hamilton


“Anywhere is paradise; it’s up to you.”


“Sometimes you have to go through things and not around them.”


“In terms of fitness and battling through cancer, exercise helps you stay strong physically and mentally.” – Grete Waitz


“More men die of jealousy than of cancer.” – Joseph P. Kennedy


“Yes, I have cancer and it might not go away, but I can still have a future because life goes on.” – Kris Carr


“My cancer scare changed my life. I’m grateful for every new, healthy day I have. It has helped me prioritize my life.” – Olivia Newton-John


“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”


“We acquire the strength we have overcome.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson


“The important thing is not how many years in your life but how much life in your years.” – Edward J. Stieglitz


“It is sometimes too difficult to put into words.”


“Physical strength is measured by what we can carry; spiritual by what we can bear.”


Cancer Quotes


“Disease is somatic; the suffering from it, psychic.”


“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault


“You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life.” – Male Cancer


“Cancer is not a straight line. It’s up and down.” – Elizabeth Edwards


“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” – Herm Albright


“Cancer is messy and scary. You throw everything at it, but don’t forget to throw love at it. It turns out that might be the best weapon of all.” – Regina Brett


“Cancer, any type of cancer is terrible. We don’t realize what it actually feels like until it happens to ourselves, and it is terrible. All the emotion we go through and the strength we need to build up, is hard. We don’t understand how bad it really is.”


“To fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another.” – Katherine Paterson


“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein


“I cried like a baby. When no one could see me or hear me. Not because I feared what cancer would do, but because I didn’t want the disease. I wanted my life to be normal, which it could no longer be.” – Yuvraj Singh


“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt


“Having cancer gave me membership in an elite club I’d rather not belong to.” – Gilda Radner


“Cancer didn’t change me at all. I know lots of people talk about the life revelation. I didn’t have that.” – Randy Pausch


“During chemo, you’re more tired than you’ve ever been. It’s like a cloud passing over the sun, and suddenly you’re out. You don’t know how you’ll answer the door when your groceries are delivered. But you also find that you’re stronger than you’ve ever been. You’re clear. Your mortality is at optimal distance, not up so close that it obscures everything else, but close enough to give you depth perception. Previously, it has taken you weeks, months, or years to discover the meaning of an experience. Now it’s instantaneous.” – Melissa Bank


“I was a vegetarian first. I had high blood pressure at 27, everybody in my family died of cancer, and I knew it was in the food, so I changed my diet.” – John Salley


“If you have a friend or family member with breast cancer, try not to look at her with ‘sad eyes.’ Treat her like you always did; just show a little extra love.” – Hoda Kotb


“Cancer is awful. It took 10 years until I didn’t think about it every day. Nobody should go through this. Nobody.” – Hans Rosling


“Cancer is such a ruthless adversary because it behaves as if it has its own fiendishly cunning agenda.” – Paul Davies


“You don’t have free will when you have lung cancer.” – Bill O’Reilly

Breast Cancer Quotes


“Once I overcame breast cancer, I wasn’t afraid of anything anymore.” – Melissa Etheridge


Cancer Quotes


“There can be life after breast cancer. The prerequisite is early detection.” – Ann Jillian


“Every woman needs to know the facts. And the fact is, when it comes to breast cancer, every woman is at risk.” – Debbie Wasserman Schultz


“Whether you’re a mother or father, or a husband or a son, or a niece or a nephew or uncle, breast cancer doesn’t discriminate.’ – Stephanie McMahon


“Breast cancer, whether I like it or not, is part of my family’s story. That’s why I am so passionate about raising awareness, because I have seen firsthand how it can impact others.” – DeAngelo Williams


“Breast cancer deaths in America have been declining for more than a decade. Much of that success is due to early detection and better treatments for women. I strongly encourage women to get a mammogram.” – Larry Craig


“Breast cancer is being detected at an earlier, more treatable stage these days, largely because women are taking more preventive measures, like self-exams and regular mammograms. And treatment is getting better too.” – Elizabeth Hurley


“Breast cancer is scary and no one understands that like another woman who has gone through it too.” – Mindy Sterling


Cancer Quotes


“I personally know women who are breast cancer survivors and will do all I can to support the cause. Besides, I love boobies!” – Jane Wiedlin


“With breast cancer, it’s all about detection. You have to educate young women and encourage them to do everything they have to do.” – Bill Rancic


“I didn’t know anything about breast cancer when I got it.” – Rue McClanahan