Be it a cancer survivor or a cancer fighter. After being diagnosed with cancer, one is bound to experience a unique and wide range of feelings and fears. Sometimes very close family or friends cannot fathom your emotions. But the cancer support group is a source for both the patient and family in understanding and providing emotional support throughout and after the journey. The group members talk about their experiences, journeys, emotions, and many more, making everyone more understood and less lonely.
The group members also talk about practical information like what to expect during the treatment, how to cope with side effects, how to communicate with healthcare professionals, family members, and friends, alongside helping to manage emotions and standing ground against cancer.
Types of cancer support groups
There are different types of cancer support groups, like
- Self-help group run by group members.
- Professional-led group, where a psychologist, or trained counsellor, leads the group.
- Informational groups where professional healthcare/ cancer specialist speakers are invited for talks, give information about cancer-related education, like cancer tests and cancer treatment.
- Searching for a group based on the group members such as type of cancer or stage of cancer, a group or individual interaction, in-person or online support groups.
- Groups for patients or caregivers and family.
How to choose a cancer support group
To choose the cancer support group, you may consider your needs, psyche, and personality. You may also regard some of the aspects like
- Do you need only emotional support or information and education or both combined?
- Would you prefer to share your experience in a group, in person, or in an undisclosed environment like an online community?
Reasons to join a cancer support group
Your doctors may treat cancer, but they may not wholly understand what undergoing cancer treatment is like and may not provide practical solutions to daily difficulties. Cancer support groups offer supportive care therapies to help patients manage the complex treatment-related side effects, nutritional support, pain management, oncology rehabilitation and spiritual support.
- The comfort of being in safe hands.
- Emotional support and connection to fight cancer.
- Practical help with side effects and coping skills for coping with cancer.
How to find a cancer support group
Ways you can find cancer support groups include:
- Checking with the cancer hospital, medical centres, or social worker where you can receive the treatment.
- Asking for suggestions from other patients.
- Using the internet to search for the cancer support group. The search list should be classified by cancer information like type and stage.
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