Are support groups good for everyone dealing with cancer?
Research shows that involvement in support groups can help improve a cancer patient’s quality of life as well as his or her perception of pain and mood. The structured environment of a support group allows for meaningful discussion that is therapeutic for cancer patients.
While undergoing cancer treatment, it is important to deal with both the emotional and physical effects of treatment.
A support group can be a safe, confidential place to discuss these effects and to connect with someone else who has dealt with similar issues that follow a cancer diagnosis.
Support groups also can share practical information, such as the best ways to alleviate side effects of treatment or helpful ways to communicate with your doctor. The group setting allows you to hear a variety of viewpoints and experiences on topics like returning to work or discussing your diagnosis with family, friends or coworkers.
Newly diagnosed cancer patients want to know what to expect during and after treatment. Groups allow you the opportunity to meet with people who have been through similar treatments — people who can answer your questions and perhaps calm some of your fears or understand your anger.
Family members and friends can also benefit from support groups. Many support groups welcome family and friends to the discussion while some support groups are specific to caregivers, friends or family members.
Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge offers 17 different support groups and programs. They each occur at least once a month and are open to clients and their friends and family. For times and information, contact Natalie Depp at (225) 927-2273.
For more information about Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, contact librarian Courtney Britton at (225) 927-2273, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Resource Center at 550 Lobdell Ave.
ä ON THE INTERNET:
Taking Time: Support for Cancer Survivors:
Support Groups – Ask CancerCare:
Support Groups – ASCO’s Cancer.net:
This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.