Cancer support groups can enhance the quality of life for people suffering with cancer by providing a way to cope and connect with others in similar situations. It’s a powerful way to overcome feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, fear, anxiety or depression.
Choosing the right cancer support group
There are many different kinds of cancer support groups. Many support a particular type of cancer while others cater to a preferred way of communicating. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, there are different qualities to keep in mind:
- Ask if the group is facilitated or led by a trained professional with special knowledge of oncology and/or hematology. Many groups have two facilitators: A mental health professional and a medical professional. If you find one that doesn’t have both, keep looking.
- Confirm the group is sponsored by a cancer center, hospital, or other reputable organization (e.g., American Cancer Society, CancerCare, or Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey.)
- Make sure the group adheres to their confidentiality and privacy policies.
- Keep looking if you come across a group that charges fees or requests donations.
If you’d prefer an online support group, remember that not all are created equal. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a virtual support group:
- Find a support group that is associated with, or run by, an established group like the American Cancer Society, CancerCare, or Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey.
- Choose a group that is professionally monitored by a social worker, psychologist or medical professional.
- Select a group that provides password-protected interactions for added confidentiality.
Finding and joining the right cancer support group can make all the difference in your treatment and recovery. Studies have shown that cancer patients who maintain a positive outlook have an easier time managing their treatment protocols. For additional information about support groups, please visit the Cancer Support Community Central New Jersey website or call 908-658-5400, and dial extension 6.
Call Astera Cancer Care at 732-390-7750 for top-quality, state-of-the-art cancer support in Central Jersey.