Cancer Support Networks and Programs
Guest Author: David Haas
When one is diagnosed with cancer, it is easy to feel really alone quickly. Cancer support networks and programs can get you connected with people who are not only newly diagnosed, but also long time survivors and those who are currently in treatment. With support groups, networks, and programs you will be able to navigate your way more easily through this difficult time of your life. Being part of a cancer support group will not only allow you to get help and suggestions from those who have gone through what you are about to, but you will be able to help others with your experiences too.
CANCER EDUCATION AND CANCER SUPPORT NETWORKS
Learning as much as you can about your disease, while also sifting through what doesn’t pertain to you can be exhausting and scary. If one is diagnosed with a common cancer such as melanoma, they would not want to learn treatment options and daily living techniques from someone who is diagnosed with a very rare and deadly cancer such as mesothelioma. Becoming educated on the cancer you have been diagnosed with, the treatment options, prognosis, and more will allow you to make educated decisions regarding your treatment. Support networks can put you in touch with helpful groups locally and nationally that can help with this education.
FINDING CANCER SUPPORT NETWORKS AND PROGRAMS
One of the first places to go to for information on great support networks is your oncologist. He or she will be able to connect you with others that have your type of cancer or going through a similar treatment protocol. Another place to look is through online blogs and message boards. Be sure to go to reputable websites when researching the cancer support networks and programs that are available. The American Cancer Society has the Cancer Survivor Network (CSN) where you will find lots of reputable resources and programs.
CANCER SUPPORT RESOURCES
When joining a cancer support network or program you will find a variety of resources to choose from. Some of them will include the following:
- Treatment trial information
- Cancer education
- After care
- Caregiver information
- Cancer treatment center locations
- Local and national organizations
- Support groups
- Online communities
Take advantage of the resources available as soon as possible!