The Benefits of Cancer Support Groups and How to Find Them

Cancer support groups can bring considerable value to your cancer care journey. Even though joining one is likely not the first item on your list to take care of when you receive a cancer diagnosis, there are many good reasons to meet with fellow cancer patients.
The benefits of cancer support groups

How can a cancer support group help you as a patient (and as a caregiver)?

  • There is empirical evidence that empowering the mindset of cancer patients can be an important asset when it comes to treatment.
  • Many cancer support groups offer support on a peer-to-peer level. Other groups are being led by trained professionals, like psychologists, nurses, or social workers.
  • It is not always easy for cancer patients or caregivers to share their emotions related to their diagnosis. A group of fellow patients or caregivers can offer a safe forum to share fears and anxieties while receiving encouragement. Some people may find it easier to be themselves among other patients or caregivers given a hesitancy to open up to their loved ones for fear of burdening them. Here, they find solidarity and understanding to discuss their individual experiences.
  • A cancer care journey doesn’t only include medical treatment – it involves learning how to live and manage daily life while dealing with the emotional components of a new diagnosis and treatment. A support group whether it be a formal or informal can offer a safe place to exchange practical tips and advice.

Where can I find a group for me?

The following provides a few examples of accessible resources for support:

Where you can inquire about a group that’s right for you:

  • Ask your oncology medical team for a list of support group resources
  • Your independent cancer care advocate can help locate resources
  • Your social worker
  • Your church or other corresponding religious community

 

Sources and further information:

 

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