Will Cancer Support Groups Help?

Will Cancer Support Groups Help?

Getting diagnosed with cancer is probably one of the scariest things any cancer patient will face in their entire life. Having to face their own potentially impending doom, the logistics of making sure that everyone they care for will be ok in their absence,seemingly endless doctors appointments are stressful enough just to think about, let alone having to deal with them in a less abstract sense. People that are going through this often seek out cancer support groups but are these groups actually helpful for the people that use them? How do they make a difference? 

When it comes to real-world problems, everyone wants to make sure that they’re getting real-world solutions. A piece of the puzzle that can make things run more smoothly in multiple parts of their life. Cancer is a big diagnosis with a lot of things that you need to think about. Finding a way to find inner peace can make the whole process a lot easier to handle,that can help your odds of winning your fight with cancer. So will this kind of support group help you? What kind of support does a cancer support group actually provide?

Much Needed Support in Multiple Ways

Not everyone needs the same things. This can be something simple like some people prefer Pepsi-Cola while others prefer Coke. It can also manifest in much more complexnuanced ways that are worth looking over in more detail. For example, some people enjoy talking about their feelingslistening to other people talk about their feelingsother people cannot stand those kinds of interactions, oftentimes leaving those kinds of exchanges feeling more irritatedstressed out than they did when it first began. People need different thingshave different thresholds for certain approaches. 

That being said, your cancer support group is going to have to be good for what you need. There are plenty of groups where people sit togethertalk about their feelings on the matter while trying to help one another work through their emotions. This can work great for the right type of person,group therapy is a good outlet for lots of people. That being said, some people would go to these meetingsjust leave feeling more aggravated than when the meeting began. It can be pretty frustrating for those that aren’t into talking about feelings to sit around talking about feelings. 

There are other meetings where people try to get their affairs in ordertry to help each other do that. These meetings sometimes have people in finance, law,other industries. These people are able to give solidrealistic advice on how to handle things in the patients’ lives posthumously. This can be really good for settling worried mindsgenerally alleviating stress. There’s nothing worse than losing sleep because you have a big pile of problems that don’t have any good solutions, especially when you need every minute of sleep you can get. 

Both of these types of meetings are good for a lot of cancer patients. Many people even continue going to their meetings after they win their fight against cancer. That gives those people the opportunity to give back to the group that gave them so much, while also giving the people in the group the chance to see a real-world example of cancer not always being a death sentence. That can do a lot to inspire hope for patients,doctors generally agree that a hopeful patient has an easier time getting through treatment. 

You Have Options for Attendance 

Just like we were talking about in the last section, different people have different needs for their cancer journey. It can take a lot of courageunderstanding to know what works best for you,asking yourself a lot of hard questions is going to be the best way to be sure that you’re getting exactly the kind of support that you need throughout this process. Whether you’re in remission or you just got your cancer diagnosis, you want to be sure that the way you attend is going to work best for you. 

Some people find that a group that they see all the time is going to do them the most good. That’s absolutely an option, with some groups even meeting multiple times a week. That allows you to get some real quality time with the group so you can build relationships with the people that you’re going to be getting support in the group. For people that like going to a lot of meetings, it’s not uncommon for them to select groups that meet once or twice a week at the same place at the same time. It just makes it easier for them to build a routine. 

While there are many people that prefer to see these groups a lot, some people either don’t have the energy or desire to do such a thing. For those people, you can easily find groups that meet once every couple of weeks or even once a month. That makes it really easy for you to find a meeting that meets at a frequency that you’re happy with. There are even meetings that meet in the morning, afternoon,evening, so no matter what kind of schedule you have you can be sure that you’ll find something that will fit in neatly. 

Cancer support groups: How to find one that's right for you | MD Anderson  Cancer Center

Now, some people don’t want to meet in person at all. Whether that’s because they’re concerned about their appearance, don’t have the energy to be in public, or they’re just concerned about the pandemic that is still active at the time this article was written, it’s really entirely up to the patient. That being said, these people still deserve to get the support that they’re seeking out regardless of any of those factors. Fortunately enough, there are many options for people that either can’t or don’t want to attend meetings in person.

Online groups have been a thing for a while. There have been lots of people that haven’t wanted or been able to meet in person for years,the internet has made it incredibly easy for these people to find groups they can still fit into. In fact, the pandemic has just made these groups easier to find with many people not wanting to get or spread an illness on top of having cancer. You can find groups that meet with video calls, voice calls, or even groups that are like Facebook groups where people just post thingsother people comment their support. 

This option is excellent for people that can’t or don’t want to meet in person,you can find the same level of flexibility this way as you could otherwise. Many people use this option simply because it’s easyconvenient for their situation,other people use parts of this option in addition to going to in-person meetings. At the end of the day, you can find something that will work out perfectly for your needs in general, no matter what type of person you are. It’s at least something that’s worth looking into for everyone. 

Are These Groups Good For Everyone? 

Now we get into the more difficult questions. Is a cancer support group right for every single cancer patient? In a perfect world, we’d be able to say that the answer is an unambiguous yes without any nuance because that would make it easier for everyone to get the kind of support that they need to help them get through their fight with cancer. We can say for certain that cancer patients in general greatly benefit from going to at least one cancer support group, but does that mean that everyone benefits equally from entering this kind of group?

Well, no. Not everyone benefits equally from these kinds of groups,there is a minority of people that feel that these groups do more harm than good for them. Those people have option resources available to them that other people can also benefit from, such as private psychotherapy or estate planning, but some people simply don’t do well in group settings no matter how decentralized they are in essence. It’s unfortunate that some people won’t fully benefit from this kind of support group, but everyone is differentthat’s just one thing that you have to be prepared to deal with. 

That being said, it is worth it for everyone to look into doing one of these support groups. The vast majority of patients find a lot of help by doing these programs, which makes it worth everyone at least taking the time to look into, even if they don’t think it could help them. You could be surprised what a good fitting cancer support group could do for you,you could even find yourself finding comfort in new friends in similar situations as yourself. That makes the situation easier to deal with for everyone involved. 

***On the Aepios platform, members gain support from peers nationwide by sharing valuable real-world experiences, treatments,outcomes for an expanding number of medical conditions.***