The Importance Of Patient Groups

Joining a patient support group is one way to support your emotional health during your cancer treatment.

What is a patient group?

A patient group is any group of people that comes together to help each other. Patients and caregivers can participate in patient groups. Sometimes, there are special groups just for patients or just for caregivers, and sometimes patient groups are a mix of both patients and caregivers. Patient groups can be helpful in many different ways:

Practical Information :

Talking with other patients and caregivers can be very educational. Other patients may share information they have learned, including their own personal experiences. Patient groups may organize lectures or question and answer sessions with cancer experts. These are great opportunities to educate yourself about your diagnosis and treatment.

Practical Help :

You may be experiencing other types of difficulties, like financial challenges or legal issues. A patient group can be a place to brainstorm with others and find potential solutions. The group can also help you to organize fundraising events.

A Support Network :

Network While every patient's experience is different, you may find someone in a patient group who has many things in common with you. It may relieve your anxiety to talk to people who can relate to you. You may find it very helpful to have a group of people to talk to outside of your usual circle of family and friends.

Sharing Experiences :

A patient group is a great place to talk not only about your hopes, but your fears, as well. Listening to others talk about their stories can be a big relief to some patients, because it may make you feel less alone.

Patient groups offer a great source of peer support. They teach us not only that we can rely on each other, but that being a support to others can be very satisfying. Sharing your own story with others can ease their worries, and give people hope. It may be useful to remember that "helping you helps me."

Ask your physician

Sometimes, support groups are organized through clinics or hospital.

Take advantage of the internet :

Use a search engine, and type in the name of your city/town, and the words "cancer" and "support group."

Contact a local cancer organization :

Often times they keep listings of support groups. Or, they may organize them.

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