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How Do I Choose the Best Cancer Support Group?

Article Details
  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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When it comes to choosing a cancer support group, it's important to take the time to find which one feels the most comfortable. Oncologists are some of the best people to ask for leads as to where to find a group. Asking others who have or had cancer as well as doing an online search are additional options. Those who prefer not to do an in-person group may feel more comfortable participating in one online. Before settling on a group, go over the list of potential options to decide which seem like possibilities, then test them out until one stands out as the best fit.

Oncologists are the ideal people to ask for where to find a cancer support group. They are typically able to recommend support groups for those with a specific type of cancer. Doctors talk to patients every day, so they also obtain some information about which groups the patients are especially fond of.

The ideal people to talk to about the quality of the support groups are other patients or those who are in remission. They'll be able to provide information about which ones they go to or went to as well as the ones they passed up. Ask about the pros and cons of the several groups and which ones they found to be the most effective.

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Another option for finding the best cancer support group is to do a search online for specific ones that are in the area. There are general groups as well as ones for those with specific types of cancer. View the websites for location information as well as time, date, and availability, all of which are factors that could narrow down the options.

Those who may not feel comfortable discussing certain things in front of others may want to search for a cancer support group that takes place only online. This is also an ideal option for those who aren't feeling well and can't travel; they can participate in a support group right from their bed. It typically works in the form of a forum although some may have live chats running at all times or only specific times during the week.

After gathering a list of potential options from doctors, patients and through an online search, weigh the pros and cons of each group before deciding which ones to test out. Compare how long it takes to get there, how many times a week the group runs, the time it starts and ends, how many people are in each group and where it's located. List the top three options of support groups in order to give them a test run starting with the one that sounds the most promising.

It's not necessary to stick to the first cancer support group if it doesn't seem to be a good fit. There are plenty of others that may be better, so give them a try until one stands out as the best pick. Take special note of which one has a comfortable setting where it's easy to speak freely — that's going to be essential when participating in a support group.

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