Monday, July 18, 2011

Importance of Cancer Support Groups

As the number of cancer diagnoses increases, so does the number of cancer support groups. Cancer support groups are groups in which cancer patients can join and find help, resources, and companionship in other cancer patients. Patients can find local, statewide, nationwide, and even international cancer support groups to join. Some groups are cancer specific, while many tailor to cancer patients in general.

These support groups are a great tool for fighting and surviving cancer. Many studies have examined these groups and have found them to be an important part of cancer treatment. One study examined the psychosocial benefits of cancer support groups and found that women in these groups were "significantly less depressed, less anxious, and had more knowledge of their illness.  This resulted in better relationships with care givers, fewer sexual difficulties, and more participation in leisure activities. 

Support groups also provide companionship for cancer patients. In these groups, people gain friends, connections, and support beneficial to their recovery. Many cancer support groups use the same methods and activities to help patients such as counseling, informational sessions about cancer related subjects, social events, doctor and hospital referrals, and some even include support like free rides and hotel stays. Cancer support groups are incredibly beneficial because they offer services and support that cancer patients cannot get on their own or from family members who have never had cancer.  Cancer support Groups are more than just information, they are a network of other cancer patients that will support each other, celebrate each other's victories, and share each other's tears.

Cancer support groups are the medicine that doctors cannot inject and cancer cannot defeat. Many studies even show a correspondence of survival rates to cancer support treatment groups. Support groups can help you manage and survive during cancer. Even for those who have non-treatable cancers, these groups can help inject a positive outlook on life, which might not increase their life expectancy, but will most definitely make their last years more comfortable and enjoyable. When medicine and support come together, we can win against cancer!

By: David Haas


5 comments:

  1. Very well put!! And so true! Thank you for sharing!

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  2. Your Welcome Cindy, Thanks for reading.

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  3. Hi David-As a cancer survivor, I can attest to the importance of being in a support group. Before I joined a support group, I found I thought too much about the what if's about medical issues and problems and recurrence. I not only get the right information but I have made life-long friends that completely understand me and the cancer journey. Great article David and thanks for sharing it for patients and family of patients.

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