As a person with cancer, you may find yourself overwhelmed, scared, and confused at times during your journey. While your friends and family are there to talk to and help out, they may not always understand exactly what you’re going through. This can make patients feel apprehensive to share what they are really feeling. On the other end of the spectrum, family members and caregivers may not know how to talk to their loved ones about the disease. Or, they don’t want to burden the patient with their own worries.
For those who need extra help navigating through this journey, support services and groups are highly encouraged and are beneficial to cancer patients, as well as their family and caregivers. Varying in topic – some are general while others focus on a specific type of cancer – these gatherings offer the opportunity to help one another cope by sharing information and personal experiences.
According to the American Cancer Society, research has shown that cancer support groups can decrease:
- Risk of depression
Additionally, there is evidence that support groups help patients follow their treatment plans and keep up-to-date with their doctors’ appointments. Here are a few examples of support groups and services:
Moms with Cancer
Dealing with cancer is stressful enough, let alone when you have a family to take care of. Moms with Cancer offers support from fellow moms, and meets the 2nd Monday of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at UPMC South Hills 1300 Oxford Drive, Bethel Park. Call 412-622-1212 for more information.
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Caregiver’s Support Group
Offered by Our Clubhouse, this is a support group for adults who have a family member or friend with a cancer diagnosis. This support group meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Our Clubhouse. Call 412-338-1919 for more information or to register.
Us TOO Prostate Cancer Support Group
This is a support group for adults who have or have had prostate cancer. Us TOO meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Hillman Cancer Center in the Cooper Conference Center. Call 412-647-1062 for more information.
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Cancer LiveWell Survivorship Program
As a cancer survivor, you’re faced with adjusting to a life after cancer — living with the after-effects of treatment and the changes that have occurred as a result of your cancer, which can touch every aspect of your life. The Cancer LiveWell Survivorship Program has been developed to help you through this new phase of your life. The program provides you and your loved ones with tools, support services and groups, and educational opportunities you can use as a cancer survivor.
Breast Cancer Support Group
A support group for adults who have or have had breast cancer. Support group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at Our Clubhouse from 6:30 to 8p.m. Call 412-338-1919.
Look Good Feel Better
A free service supported by the American Cancer Society, this program teaches female cancer patients beauty tips to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. All of the beauty professionals in the program are trained and certified by the Personal Care Products Council Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and the Professional Beauty Association at local, statewide, and national workshops. Other volunteer health care professionals and individuals also give their time to the program. To register, call 800-227-2345 and for more information visit the Look Good Feel Better website.
There are a variety of support groups and services to choose from locally and nationally. Most support groups are free of charge. If you are interested in finding a support group that is right for you, visit our Support Group Database. You can search by cancer type or category, or select a location to view cancer-related support groups in your area.
The UPMC Hillman Cancer Center provides world-class cancer care, from diagnosis to treatment, to help you in your cancer battle. We are the only comprehensive cancer center in our region, as designated by the National Cancer Institute. We have more than 60 locations throughout western Pennsylvania and Ohio, with more than 200 oncologists. Our internationally renowned research team is striving to find new advances in prevention, detection, and treatment.