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This study investigated the relationship between cancer patient's values and cancer related distress.A total of 107 patients with cancer diagnoses completed an anonymous questionnaire.Less self-regulating motivation for health values was significantly related to poorer well-being. Greater success at living one's values was significantly related to improved well-being and distress-related outcomes. Sex difference analysis suggested that success at friendship values was linked to less cancer-related distress among women, but not men, whereas success at romantic relationship values was linked to less distress among men, but not women.The results have important implications for values focused interventions, highlighting the importance of facilitating success at valued living and attending to sex differences among cancer patients. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.