For some, films about cancer can be too torturous to sit through when you’re already living with the disease yourself.
But for others, the right story can do a lot of good for your feelings, and your perspective — you may even find some reassurance and resolution in them.
Whether you are facing a similar diagnosis, know someone who has been or are just interested in a romantic love story about two people battling the odds together, grab some popcorn and snuggly blanket and enjoy our top 10 TV shows and films about cancer.
10 TV shows and films about cancer
The Fault in Our Stars
Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) is a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who is forced by her parents to attend a support group, where she meets and subsequently falls in love with Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), another cancer patient.
A Walk to Remember
Set in North Carolina, A Walk To Remember follows the rite of passage of a jaded, aimless high school senior Landon Carter (Shane West) who falls in love with a guileless young woman, Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), he and his friends once scorned. The two develop a powerful and inspirational relationship in which they discover truths that take most people a lifetime to learn.
My Sister’s Keeper
Conceived as a marrow donor for her gravely ill sister, Anna Fitzgerald (Abigail Breslin) has undergone countless surgeries and medical procedures in her short life. Though their older daughter’s life has no doubt been prolonged, the unorthodox decision of Anna’s parents (Cameron Diaz and Jason Patric) has cracked the entire family’s foundation. When Anna sues her parents for emancipation, it sets off a court case that threatens to destroy the family for good.
Written by a cancer survivor and based on his own experience, Adam Lerner (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) has a rare and severe form of cancer where the survival rate is 50/50. The film focuses on the everyday realities and interactions with parents, best friends, doctors, and significant others.
The Bucket List
Much-loved Hollywood veterans, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson are two unlikely hospital roommates-turned-buddies who wind up tackling big adventures together and learn about what it means to be human, fallible, and strong from each other.
Miss You Already
An honest and powerful story following two best friends, Milly (Toni Collette) and Jess (Drew Barrymore), as they navigate life’s highs and lows. Inseparable since they were young girls, they can’t remember a time they didn’t share everything -secrets, clothes, even boyfriends – but nothing prepares them for the day Milly is hit with life-altering news.
Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), an over-qualified chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife and teenage son who has cerebral palsy. When Walter is diagnosed with lung cancer, he turns to a life of crime by producing and selling crystallised methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future before he dies.
The C Word
The C Word is an adaptation of Lisa Lynch’s candid book of the same name about her experience of cancer, based on her popular blog which was launched shortly after her diagnosis. This film is a defiant, ballsy and surprisingly funny story of life, love and cancer.
Now is Good
Tessa (Dakota Fanning) is seventeen and passionate about life. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, she becomes determined to use every moment, compiling a list of what a normal teenager would experience, including losing her virginity and taking drugs. While her family deals with fear and grief, each in their own way, Tessa explores a whole new world.
The Big C
In this TV series (4 seasons), suburban mother Cathy (Laura Linney) faces her cancer diagnosis while trying to find humour and happiness as well.
Have you watched something else that has helped you through your diagnosis and treatment? We’d love to hear what films and TV shows you’d recommend!