Are you looking for a cancer support community? Are you a man living with cancer? Are you worried about the physical, emotional, and psychological implications of having cancer? Do you need guidance on how to live a positive life after a cancer diagnosis? Do you know someone who can benefit from joining a cancer support community? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this article is for you.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla. I have been facilitating online support groups, including cancer support groups, for more than 10 years. In my years as a facilitator, I have seen firsthand how important support groups can be in anyone’s life. By joining a cancer support community, you improve your chances of living a fulfilling life despite having cancer.
In this article, I will be talking about cancer support communities and information about living with cancer.
Table of Contents:
- 1 What is a Cancer Support Community?
- 2 Benefits of Joining a Cancer Support Community
- 3 Types of Cancer Support Communities
- 4 How to Find a Cancer Support Community Near You
- 5 Recommendations for the Best Cancer Support Groups
- 6 Is a Support Community Right for Me?
- 7 Information About MensGroup Cancer Support Community
- 8 Conclusion
What is a Cancer Support Community?
A cancer support community or CSC is a type of wellness meeting for people who share similar experiences like their cancer journey or anyone affected by the disease.
Be it breast cancer, including metastatic breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, or a cancerous brain tumor, getting a cancer diagnosis can be one of the most challenging news to bear for anyone. Joining a cancer support community can make it easier for you to cope with the news and find avenues to get cancer treatment, clinical trials, and learn about survivorship in your locality.
While most people get support from friends and family after a cancer diagnosis, it is not possible for them to understand exactly what you are going through if they have never had cancer. Joining a cancer support community gives them the opportunity to be around others who truly understand their experience.
There are many benefits associated with joining Cancer support communities. A cancer support community brings you in contact with other cancer patients or cancer survivors.
According to research, joining a support community can improve your quality of life and improve your chances of survival. Being part of a support community:
- Helps to fight loneliness, make you feel better and hopeful
- Gives you access to practical solutions to different issues related to cancer.
- Gives you a safe space to vent, process emotions, and express your feelings after a diagnosis
- Makes coping with the challenges of cancer treatment
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Benefits of Joining a Cancer Support Community
Being part of a support community puts you in a space with support community members who share similar feelings, everyday problems, worries, treatment options, and treatment side effects of living with cancer.
You are amongst people who fully understand what you are going through, which fosters patience with one another and understanding of each other’s issues.
There are many benefits of being part of a cancer support community. These include:
- You get a feeling of belonging, preventing loneliness, isolation, and fear of judgment.
- Mental wellbeing reduces stress and prevents depression, anxiety, or fatigue
- Access to free programs where you can speak openly about your feelings, mood, and thoughts.
- Access to free support and information that helps to cope with challenges that come with having cancer.
- Get motivated to stick to your treatment despite the side effects of cancer therapy.
- Gaining a sense of hope, empowerment, and control over the condition.
- Access to resources for a better understanding of the condition and available treatment options.
- Get information about your health, social and economic resources for cancer management to live a healthy lifestyle.
Types of Cancer Support Communities
There are many different types of cancers, and tons of different cancer support communities and psychosocial support programs.
Some support communities allow participation from people living with different types of cancers, while other groups are specific to a type of cancer as women with breast cancer or men with prostate cancer. Some communities are age or location-specific, like young-adult support groups or cater to a particular culture, religion, or sex.
You can also find emotional support communities for cancer patient caregivers, whether you are a social worker or part of a cancer care team. These types of groups also provide caregiver support to family members and help in the transition process after a diagnosis. These types of cancer support communities focus on addressing concerns about changes in the home in terms of roles, relationships, finances, and offering support to the cancer patient.
Regardless of the type of cancer support community you join, they all fall under two categories; online and offline support communities.
Offline cancer support communities
These are cancer support communities and programs that meet regularly in person at determined locations such as cancer centers, hospitals, religious places, or social halls. There are hundreds of in-person cancer support meetups in different localities. A simple search online will give you access to cancer support groups near you.
The main disadvantage of offline or in-person cancer support groups is that you only get a chance to share and meet with other members at the appointed meeting times, which can be once a week, bi-weekly, or even once a month. This makes it hard for the members to get support outside the meeting schedule.
Online cancer support communities
These are cancer support communities with meetings taking place online. In these types of communities, members meet in virtual chat rooms, webinars, social media, or video conferencing.
The best benefit of an online cancer support community is that you can join a meeting at any time, day or night. The chat rooms and discussion forums are always ongoing to ensure there is help available at all times.
Online support communities are ideal virtual programs for people who are not able to travel for physical meetings because of financial, physical, or location limitations. Cancer organizations and support services sponsor some online cancer support groups while others are self-sponsored, like mensgroup.com.
How to Find a Cancer Support Community Near You
There are many different ways of finding ideal cancer support communities near, some of the most ideal ways include:
- Through recommendations from an oncology department or healthcare professional
- The American cancer society
- Referral from nonprofit groups that advocate for special medical conditions and life changes
- National institutes of health websites for cancer research and diagnosis
- Cancer support and treatment centers in your area
Recommendations for the Best Cancer Support Groups
UCSF Health offers care and helps to cancer patients, the family of cancer patients, and friends of cancer patients. The support community is free to join and available to all cancer patients, whether they are getting treatment at UCSF or not.
They have general cancer support communities for people with cancer in all stages, advanced breast cancer support groups, bladder cancer educations, and support groups, blood cancer support groups, and colorectal cancer support groups among many others.
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Pancreatic cancer is scary to the patient and his loved ones. The pancreatic cancer actions network moderates a support group for people with pancreatic cancer. You can get support from this network through in-person meetings, online support meetings, over-the-phone support, and one-on-one support. The network keeps an up-to-date list of all pancreatic support groups throughout America.
This is a support community for people living with breast cancer. Breastcancer.org connects you with other people living with breast cancer at a time when you may be feeling isolated or alone. It also has a wealth of resources that can give you valuable information about breast cancer treatment options, diagnosis, and care. It hosts events that empower members of the community to seek and get help after a diagnosis.
Is a Support Community Right for Me?
Before committing to a cancer support community, it is important to consider whether or not you are comfortable talking about your personal issues to a group of people. Also, consider what you stand to gain from joining a support group for people living with cancer.
Bottom line, whether you join a private cancer support network or a general support group, joining a cancer support community is one of the best ways to cope with a cancer diagnosis. There are many emotions involved when you learn that you have cancer and during the treatment period. Being around people who completely understand can make the burden of the disease more bearable.
Information About MensGroup Cancer Support Community
As a man, learning you have cancer can be one of the most stressful times of your life. Men try to hide their emotions, stress, and pain from their loved ones to avoid causing panic or hopelessness. If you recently got a diagnosis of cancer, mensgroup.com is a men-only support community that offers help to men living with cancer.
As an online platform, you can join cancer support group meetings from anywhere in the world and connect with other men who understand so that no one faces cancer alone.
You do not have to go through cancer treatment or remission on your own. Joining Men’s Group will connect with you other cancer survivors and other men living with cancer. You can get helpful advice on how to cope with changes at home, work, and in your life in general. The men in MensGroup will give you useful cancer information like dealing with the side effects of chemo or other cancer treatments.
Mensgroup.com is a cancer support community and advocacy group that connects you with like-minded men who understand and share your cancer experience in a safe place online, especially in this coronavirus pandemic. You can get additional information by visiting the website.
When not addressed, the stigma of living with cancer can take a toll on your emotions, self-esteem, and relationships. It is important to get involved in a cancer support community to be able to learn more about your type of cancer and the available treatment options.
At mensgroup.com, you are not your diagnosis. We will teach you how to overcome self-imposed cancer stigma and learn to smile again after a diagnosis. You are not alone. Join mensgroup.com today to start the next part of your life.
*Sources: 1. The Impact of Participation in Online Cancer Communities on Patient Reported Outcomes: Systematic Review 2. Online Communities as Sources of Peer Support for People Living With Cancer: A Commentary 3. Online Communities for Support 4. Research on Coping with Cancer 5. Translating research into practice: outcomes from the Healthy Living after Cancer partnership project