Women talking in a support group together

Should I go?

When someone is diagnosed with cancer or another serious illness, they may feel several emotions: sadness, loneliness, resentment or anxiety. Getting through a serious illness can be easier with a group of people there to lift you up. Gibbs Cancer Center & Research Institute offers several support groups so that people diagnosed with cancer don’t feel so alone.

Here are some of the benefits of a support group:

  1. A support group provides a sense of community for cancer survivors. Though a family member or friend may be able to provide sympathy, it is important to have fellowship with those who have walked the same or a very similar journey. 
  2. A support group can provide hope and a sense of renewal. Someone just beginning cancer treatment may be overwhelmed with a sense of uncertainty, but hearing words of encouragement from another survivor who has been disease free for 20 years can be calming and inspiring. A support group’s many voices can turn hopelessness into hopefulness. 
  3. A support group can provide education. As healthcare providers, our goal is to equip our patients with knowledge and tools that can be applied daily to enhance overall health and wellness. Our support groups incorporate education into each meeting.
  4. At a support group meeting, you may find a friend. We often develop relationships with those who we have something in common with. A cancer diagnosis may initially bring you together, but discovering the many things you have in common can lead to a friendship that lasts a lifetime. 
  5. A support group is a safe place to express your emotions. A cancer diagnosis may bring on a variety of emotions, but it is important to express them in a supportive setting. Your emotions may change along your cancer journey, but being in a supportive environment has proven to relive stress and promote emotional healing and wellness.