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Cancer Survivorship

Life After Cancer - Support Groups

Support Groups After Cancer

By successfully completing cancer treatment, you’re likely to be more appreciative of the little things around you and more motivated to make the most of every day. You also understand the emotions, physical side effects and mental anxiety about living after cancer life that only other cancer survivors can truly understand.

Life for survivors is different than it was before cancer. It’s common for survivors to be concerned about cancer recurrence, financial issues, long-term physical and emotional effects, among other issues. There are many resources that address these worries, and cancer survivor support groups are safe spaces to share the good, the bad, the humorous, and the ugly with others who have walked in your shoes and truly understand.

Cancer Survivors Are Not Alone

Every experience in your life shapes who you are and cancer is no exception. That is not necessarily a bad thing! Your experiences can help others and give encouragement and give yourself the courage to share your thoughts and concerns with those who are most likely to understand.

Whether you have survived breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, leukemia, or any other type of cancer, you will find cancer-specific support groups whose members are intimately familiar with your journey. There are support groups specific to cancer survivors of all ages and stages of life -- from young children and their parents to senior citizens and every demographic group in between.

Even if your circle of loved ones and close friends is extensive, you may sometimes feel alone even in the midst of supportive, loving people. When you have survived cancer, you have experienced symptoms, situations, and emotions that only other cancer survivors understand. Cancer support groups are safe, welcoming spaces where you can share thoughts and feelings you may not feel comfortable sharing with your closest friends and loved ones. Even if you are not yet ready to share your own feelings, it can be helpful simply listening to others speak about their feelings. It’s comforting to know that your experiences as you transition from patient to survivor are common.

Benefits of Cancer Support Groups

Other benefits of participating in a local cancer support group include:

  • Receiving assistance with lingering cancer treatment side effects.
  • Receiving advice about practical issues involving returning to work or school after cancer.
  • Enjoying the ability to talk openly about your emotions, fears, and feelings.

When you are ready to reach out, you’ll discover there are many communities willing to embrace you! 

Online Cancer Survivor Resources

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship | The Cancer Survival Toolbox
This is a free audio program from the National Coalition on Cancer Survivorship. It’s designed to help cancer survivors and caregivers develop practical skills to deal with the diagnosis, treatment, and challenges of cancer. | Doctor-Approved Survivorship Information from ASCO
American Society of Clinical Oncologists patient site

CancerCare | Educational Workshops
Connect® Education Workshops.  Upcoming Telephone Education Workshops available free.

LIVESTRONG | Cancer and Fertility Risks for Women
When facing cancer, survival is most important. However, you should know that the treatments used to fight your cancer may affect your ability to have children. This section includes general information about cancer-related fertility risks.

National Cancer Institute | Coping with Cancer Survivorship
Survivorship - Living with and Beyond Cancer from National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

OncoLink | Survivorship Care Plan
OncoLink has decided to focus on a “survivorship care plan” detailing the medical consequences a survivor may face. This document will be individualized based on the answers you provide in a brief questionnaire.

American Cancer Society | Volunteer to Save Lives
Visit the American Cancer Society website to learn more about opportunities to volunteer and share your cancer survivorship journey.