A cancer diagnosis can make you feel alone -- but you do not have to be. Many patients across the United States are experiencing a similar range of emotions. For this reason and many more, a cancer support group could benefit you. Here are some signs you should consider a cancer support group.
1. You Would Like to Explore Stress-Relieving Measures
Support groups are not a one-size-fits-all approach. One type of support group involves exploring complementary therapies specifically targeted toward cancer patients. This includes support groups that have a meditation aspect or even emphasize some form of physical activity, such as tai chi or stretching.
These support group types re-emphasize that cancer support groups do not take on a one-size-fits-all approach. You can look into support groups at churches, healthcare facilities and even personal support groups at homes to find the group type that best benefits you.
2. You Have A Computer
While many support groups do happen in person, others can be participated in via signing on to the Internet. This can connect you to a wide variety of people who may have different backgrounds, yet are going through cancer treatments for a similar condition. An online support group means you need only log on with a few clicks of a mouse -- you do not have to arrange transportation or exhaust yourself with a long trip.
3. You Are Looking to Lift Your Spirits
Several medical studies have show cancer patients who participate in support groups experienced an improved quality of life compared to those who do not, according to the American Cancer Society. Cancer treatments have also been shown to reduce anxiety, fatigue, tiredness and tension in a cancer patient.
While not all cancer support groups are guaranteed to be beneficial, many patients find comfort and anxiety relief through participation in support groups. If you find yourself in need of a stress-relieving boost, a cancer support group has the potential to impact your overall well-being.
4. You Feel As If No One Understands
Each cancer patient's journey is unique. However, there are some key emotions that many cancer patients have in common. You may find it surprisingly comforting to know there are people out there who share your fears and concerns. On a more positive note, they can also share your joys. Whether the good news of an imaging scan or another year of living with your cancer in remission, it often takes one cancer patient to understand how significant a healing diagnosis is as well.
To find out more about available support groups in your area, consider contacting your local American Cancer Society chapter by calling 1-800-ACS-2345. This 24-hour phone line provides support for cancer patients around the clock. You also can visit http://supportorgs.cancer.gov/home.aspx?js=1, a website that lists more than 100 organizations that offer various forms of support and support groups to cancer patients and families of cancer patients. You also can discuss individually available support groups with our oncologist or other cancer treatment physician with whom you have a trusted relationship.