The Role Of Support Networks In The Fight Against Cancer by David Haas

Cancer is a battle. In fact, it is the toughest battle most people will ever face. Cancer is a disease of aggression and isolation. But no one has to face the battle alone.

Support networks are important weapons in the fight against cancer. Numerous local, national, and global networks exist to support cancer patients every step of the way. Some of them are community groups, where members interact face-to-face. Others are online communities, where people communicate through blogs, email, and discussion boards.

Cancer patients, family members, and caregivers need a team of people to support them and help them fight the battle. Cancer support networks do just that, in a number of different ways. They are important resources whether someone has treatable skin cancer, rare mesothelioma or any other form of cancer.


Information And Practical Support

Support networks offer several services for cancer patients and others affected by the disease. People with cancer have a lot of questions, and support groups can provide the answers. Books, brochures, and online resources provide high-quality, current information on cancer types, screening tests, cancer treatments, life after cancer, and end-of-life challenges.

The financial costs of cancer are significant, but money worries are the last thing patients need in their fight against cancer. Many support groups offer financial support, advice, and resources. They may also provide information on government assistance and grant programs to offset medical expenses.

Social And Emotional Support

But the jewel of support networks is the opportunity to talk about cancer with people who understand. Doctors and other health professionals are part of a patient’s support system. So are family and friends, but they are usually struggling with their own emotions.

Other cancer survivors are the best place to go for information, support, and encouragement. It is hard for cancer patients to put words to their fears and feelings, but talking to somewhat outside the family can help — especially if that someone has gone through a similar situation.

Groups like The Cancer Support Community, which formed when The Wellness Community and Gilda’s Club joined forces, offer invaluable emotional and social support. Many also provide educational resources, counseling services, and healthy lifestyle programs.

Cancer support networks come in the form of local groups, too. They often meet in hospitals, community centers, schools, churches, and even member homes. Patients can talk to their oncologist, family doctor, or hospital personnel for the names and meeting times of cancer support groups in their area.

By: David Haas

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