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How to Find Cancer Support Groups in Your Area

There was once a time when patients who had been diagnosed with cancer were discussed in whispers, and they were generally expected to stay out of the public eye and to remain at home, where they would die quietly and out of sight. Those days are long gone. Today cancer patients are praised for their courage and encouraged and applauded through every step of their journey, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the many groups that have been established for the sole purpose of providing cancer support to both patients and their families and caregivers.

Cancer support groups provide patients and their community with a unique resource. They are generally made up of people who have shared or are currently sharing the same type of experience, though individual groups may identify themselves in terms of the type of cancer that has been diagnosed or the specific issues that are being addressed. Some are specifically designed to provide an outlet for the person who is suffering from the disease, but there are also cancer support groups for family members and caregivers. Some groups exist specifically to provide an outlet for the grief of those left behind after a cancer patient has died.

Cancer support groups can meet in a variety of ways, including in person or online. In some cases they exist strictly as community boards, where people can post their fears, their concerns, or their questions and be certain that somebody else who has already been through the same situation or who has had to find an answer to the same question in the past will post back a response or an answer. Sometimes all it takes is some encouraging words or sympathy from somebody who truly understands to make a friend or family member feel better.

Ask About Cancer Support Groups at Medical and Cancer Treatment Facilities

If you are a person who has been diagnosed with cancer, or the friend, family member or caregiver of a cancer patient, finding support programs is easier than you think. Most medical facilities and clinics that provide cancer treatments are able to provide you with a number of options for different types of support groups, and your cancer specialist or his staff will likely be aware of a number of good ones as well. Once you are open to the idea of joining a support network you will likely start hearing ads on the radio or on television that you never noticed before, publicizing meeting times and places as well as events. It is also a good idea to be open with your friends and family if you are looking for one of these groups. It is the rare person who has not had somebody in their life touched by cancer, and that means that there is a good chance that your immediate network will be able to provide you with valuable information.

Try Online Cancer Support Groups

Support is also available through a number of well-known national organizations, including the American Cancer Society, which has established the Cancer Survivors Network specifically to allow cancer patients to create an online space in which they can share their own experience and connect with others. The Cancer Support Community is another invaluable resource, providing both education and local affiliates to help people connect with each other both online and within their own community.

List of Cancer Support Groups

Find the Support Programs You Need

Cancer Hope Network

(800) 552-4366

Cancer Hope Network is a national non-profit organization that provides free and confidential one-on-one emotional support to cancer patients, their caregivers, and their family members. Cancer Hope Network matches cancer patients or family members with trained volunteer cancer survivors who themselves, have undergone and recovered from a similar cancer experience. Their mission is to give you hope.​

(800) 813‑HOPE (4673)

 Founded in 1944, CancerCare® is the leading national organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical and financial challenges of cancer. Our comprehensive services include counseling and support groups over the phone, online and in-person, educational workshops, publications and financial and co-payment assistance. All CancerCare services are provided by oncology social workers and world-leading cancer experts.
Dana Farber Institute 

(866) 408-DFCI (3324)

Since its founding in 1947, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts has been committed to providing adults and children with cancer with the best treatment available today while developing tomorrow’s cures through cutting-edge research. Read about our history, our breakthroughs, and the resources that help us support the health of our neighborhoods and communities.
 MD Anderson Cancer Center

(877) 632-6789 

The mission of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is to eliminate cancer in Texas, the nation, and the world through outstanding programs that integrate patient care, research and prevention, and through education for undergraduate and graduate students, trainees, professionals, employees and the public. 
 Cancer Support Community

(888) 793-9355

The Cancer Support Community is an international non-profit dedicated to providing support, education and hope to people affected by cancer. Likely the largest employer of psychosocial oncology mental health professionals in the United States, CSC offers a menu of personalized services and education for all people affected by cancer. Its global network brings the highest quality cancer support to the millions of people touched by cancer. These support services are available through a network of professionally-led community-based centers, hospitals, community oncology practices and online, so that no one has to face cancer alone.
Imerman Angels

(877) 274-5529 

Through our unique matching process, Imerman Angels partners anyone seeking cancer support with someone just like you – a “Mentor Angel”. A Mentor Angel is a cancer survivor or caregiver who is the same age, same gender, and most importantly who has faced the same type of cancer. Our service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world.

What cancer support groups have been helpful to you?

Check out our list of cancer support groups and share groups that have helped you with the community.

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