How Cancer Support Groups Provide Emotional Help to Patients

Cancer support groups can be a great source of help for both patients and their families. They not only provide emotional support but also direct people with cancer to much-needed services.

Cancer help groups are beneficial because for each person diagnosed, cancer is a unique experience. No two people will travel the same journey during and after cancer treatment, but one thing all cancer patients have in common is the need for a good support system.

People participating in a support group
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Community Cancer Help Groups

Community cancer support groups stand out as one of the best ways for patients to get help and become more active in the cancer world. These types of support groups can be held in hospitals, churches and community centers and are typically led by psychologists, social workers, and medical professionals.

Most groups are free to participate in, but some may require a small registration fee or dues. Cancer treatment centers should be able to provide patients with the names of local support groups. Cancer support groups that have nationally sponsored support meetings include I Can Cope, the Cancer Hope Network, and Gilda's Club.

Online Cancer Support Groups and Forums

Joining a support group online can be one of a patient's best bets to cope with cancer. Patients who are experiencing side effects from therapy and have difficulty leaving their homes particularly benefit from taking part in an online community. Cancer help groups on the Internet can be the simplest, most effective way for such patients to get the support they need during treatment.
Online support groups and forums not only benefit the bed-ridden but also allow patients to maintain their anonymity. This helps many patients become more candid when sharing their feelings, fears, and frustrations. Notable online cancer support groups and forums include Cancer Care and the Cancer Survivors Network.

Wrapping Up

No matter which type of cancer help group a patient chooses, it's important to remember that emotional support and care is just as important as physical care during cancer treatment. One does not need to feel isolated while fighting cancer. Maintaining a positive outlook on life and being optimistic is the goal of support groups, which makes the cancer journey a lot easier.

Whether or not patients have a loving family and friends to turn to for support, cancer help groups allow them to share their unique experiences with others who know firsthand what it's like to battle cancer. When loved ones without cancer don't understand how to respond to a patient's diagnosis, the members of cancer support groups can empathize with patients and help them cope.

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