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Many mesothelioma patients and their caregivers find that support groups are very beneficial as they fight mesothelioma cancer. Support groups are composed of other patients and their families who are dealing with the stresses of a cancer diagnosis. They offer a venue for patients to share their stories, their emotions and their stresses with peers and build a support network of people who can empathize with their battles.
Although some support groups may be led by professionals, they are not designed to offer medical advice, but rather to give patients and their families a place to give and receive encouragement, personal advice, coping strategies, share resources, and discuss experiences with treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
A number of studies have been done to examine to benefits of support groups to patients battling terminal illnesses like mesothelioma. This research has shown that patients and their families who participate in support groups experience lower levels of anger, depression and anxiety than those who do not.
Support group options are available in many different formats ranging from in person groups to online groups, making it easy to find and join a group that will best meet your individual needs. Most support groups allow patients to attend group sessions as often as they would like, and do not pressure attendees to return if you are not comfortable or if the group has not met your needs.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer and you would like to learn more about the disease and support group options, CLICK HERE to speak to an experienced mesothelioma specialist.
Interested in joining a support group?
Mesothelioma patients who are interested in joining a support group have many options to choose from. It is important to first consider what you would like to get out of your support group experience. Many support groups are designed to cater to current patients, others may be exclusively for caregivers or survivors. Some groups are meant to offer spiritual or emotional support while some may be centered on education or research.
Once you have determined what type of support group you are interested in joining, you can then consider what format will work best for you. Many in person groups are offered at local cancer centers, while others are more informal – meeting in coffee shops, churches or homes. Groups are also available via telephone and internet, making support groups accessible for nearly every patient.
In-Person Support Groups
In-person support groups are often offered by local hospitals and cancer centers and may be led by patients, psychologists or nurses. These groups often meet on a weekly or monthly basis and are generally more structured. Other groups may be organized by local churches, patients or caregivers. CLICK HERE to contact a mesothelioma specialist to find additional support programs and services in your area.Learn More
Online Support Groups
Online support groups and message boards offer a travel-free way for mesothelioma patients to engage with a support network. The internet can offer a vast amount of information and online support groups give patients a venue to ask questions of others and share their experiences. These support groups allow patients to connect with others as frequently or infrequently as they would like. The American Cancer Society is a helpful resource.Learn More
Phone-based support resources like the Cancer Support Helpline are available through many cancer centers and societies to provide answers to questions, dietary support, assistance in locating local resources or just a listening ear. These phone based programs often offer flexible hours to allow patients quick access to answers and counselors. American Cancer Society is a helpful resource for finding online support groups.Learn More
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