RareCan is the only health tech company in the UK that specialises in supporting patients with rare cancers.

How does RareCan improve clinical trial opportunities for rare cancer patients?

We believe that people with rare cancer have the right to live better, longer lives.

We make this happen by bringing people together to create opportunities to accelerate research.

RareCan is here to help you connect.

Connect you to other rare cancer patients.
Connect you to rare cancer trials.
Connect you to the industry experts that can provide help and guidance.

How does it work?

How RareCan Works 1

Join our community

Join the RareCan community by creating a RareCan account.

How RareCan Works 2

Share your diagnosis

Share with us as much information about your cancer diagnosis as you can. 

Data about your cancer

This data is really important to enable us to support research as researchers often target specific gene mutations or specific chemical signals in tumours.

How RareCan Works 4

Research & Trials

RareCan will work together with you to see if there are any ongoing research trials available that you could take part in.

How RareCan Works 1

Join our community

How RareCan Works 2

Share your diagnosis

How RareCan Works 3

Data about your cancer

How RareCan Works 4

Research & Trials

Is my cancer rare?

This is one of the most common questions we get asked by potential RareCan members.

There are a few different definitions of ‘rare cancer’ and it depends who you ask. One of our most recent blog posts attempts to explain what we at RareCan mean by the term ‘rare cancer’.

Rare Cancer Supporter

Frequently asked questions

We focus on cancers that fall outside of the ‘big four’, so if you have any type of cancer other than lung, breast, bowel, or prostate cancer, then becoming a RareCan member might be right for you.

Even if you do have one of the ‘big four’ common cancers, there are rare sub-types of these that are considered to be rare. If you’re unsure, then please do still join us – signing up only takes a couple of minutes and you can leave at any time.

People often talk about cancer as if it is a single disease but in fact there are many types. It can occur at any age, even before birth, and affect just about any part of the body. Looking under the microscope doctors can distinguish more than 200 different forms of cancer but some of these are much more common than others. “Common” and “rare” are obviously relative terms but most specialists define a rare cancer as one which occurs in less than 60 people per 100,000 each year ie about 4,000 people each year in the UK alone.

Because they affect most people, most cancer research is done on the four most common types of cancer: breast, prostate, colon and lung. Although much needs to be done to improve the way that these cancers are diagnosed and treated, far less is known about the rare forms of cancer which means that it is often difficult for doctors to give the best advice and prescribe the best forms of treatment to people affected by them.

We have a recent blog post, ‘Is my Cancer Rare?‘, that tries to answer this question, and we have also started a list of rare cancers

Cancer Research UK also has an excellent website which has an alphabetical list of cancer types linked to further information about their frequency https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/type

For research to be reliable it needs to be undertaken on enough people to be sure that observations aren’t occurring purely by chance. Finding enough people willing to take part in research with a certain type of cancer is relatively easy for the common cancers but for rare cancer it can be very difficult as they may live anywhere in the United Kingdom 

Visit our FAQ page for more frequently asked questions.


The RareCan BioResource

Donating your samples for medical research

Joining RareCan gives you the ability to donate your tissue samples to the BioResource for medical research. Please note that signing up to RareCan does not commit you to donating tissue and you can cancel your membership at any time. Click the button below to find out more about our BioResource.

RareCast - The Rare Cancer Podcast


The RareCan Podcast hosts conversations with patients, parents, researchers and many others about the issues that face the rare cancer community.

RareCast - Rare Cancer Podcast Episode 1

On today’s episode of the podcast, Debbie Binner and Professor Andy Hall are joined by Cesare Spadoni, Angela Polanco, and Simon Davies. They consider their experiences of childhood and teenage cancer, and talk about the frustrations and challenges faced by many. 

RareCast - Rare Cancer Podcast Episode 2

On today’s episode of the RareCan Podcast, we introduce you to some of our board members. Debbie Binner, Andy Hall, Amanda Gibbon, Piers Kotting and Simon Allocca discuss how they met and what drove them to come together to establish RareCan.

RareCast - The Rare Cancer Podcast episode 3isode 3

On today’s episode of the podcast, Piers Kotting and Professor Andy Hall are joined by Professor Ruth Plummer, Professor Alastair Burt and Vicky Rockingham MBE to discuss precision medicine and its applications to rare cancers now and in the future.

What our members say


RareCan will drive more research into rare cancers, and hopefully help to make new treatments available more quickly.
Vicky Rockingham
If you are diagnosed with a rare cancer, joining RareCan to attract more researchers to your needs is a 'no brainer'.
Jayne Bressington