Cervical Cancer Support Groups

Cervical Cancer Support Groups: What To Expect

Many people cringe at the thought of sitting around in a circle sharing their feelings. But support groups for anyone suffering from cancer offer much more than that.

They can be an invaluable way to make connections with other people who can understand your fears, hopes and concerns. They allow you to interact with others going through the same things as you. Support groups also often involve outings to other places and offer a way to have fun and take a break from the stress of illness instead of dwelling on it.

Some people host these groups at their own homes and others meet at public buildings. Most are free, but some others may require a small fee to participate. And many groups are led by trained professionals, such as psychologists or cancer specialists.

How to Find Cervical Cancer Support Groups

Don’t know where to find these cervical cancer support groups? You can start by asking your doctor, who will probably know of at least one. Hospitals, community centers and religious organizations may also organize support groups for cancer patients in general and possibly cervical cancer patients specifically too. You can also contact the American Cancer Society, since that organization provides support programs called “I Can Cope” in many cities across the United States.

The Cancer Hope Network and Gilda’s Club are two other nationwide organizations that may be able to offer you contacts and additional information. Also, the National Cervical Cancer Coalition (NCCC) might be able to help direct you to specific cervical cancer support groups in your area.

Online Cervical Cancer Support

Did you know you don’t even have to leave your house these days to find support? All you need is a computer and you’re ready to go. This is especially beneficial for those who may be too ill to leave the house – either due to effects from therapy or from the cervical cancer itself.

Many of these online groups also have links to Web sites that can offer tips or information about cervical cancer. And it may be easier to share your concerns with others anonymously, a benefit of having those conversations online as opposed to in person.

Most organizations have Web sites, and on these you can find frequently asked questions, anecdotes, stories from cancer survivors and links to additional resources.

Why Should You Join A Support Group?

“Knowledge heals, ignorance destroys.” This is the philosophy of the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, and it sums up one wonderful reason to join a support group – information. You can contact other people who have undergone the same thing you are going through and find out how they handled it, the types of treatments they had and how they coped. It’s a wonderful way to learn more about cervical cancer itself and how others have dealt with it.

Additional Support Services

For those who need it, many groups also offer one-on-one support, and some offer spiritual support as well for those who want a more religious focus. Finally there are speakers and educational programs available for people who simply want more information about cervical cancer in general.

Resources for Family and Friends

Many of these support groups can also offer comfort to friends and relatives of the cancer patient. Often family and friends want to learn more about cervical cancer, what to expect and what they can do to help. Support organizations and groups provide this information and also allow friends and family to vent their own fears and concerns and learn how to cope.

Cervical Cancer Awareness

To help promote awareness, you can even choose to purchase a teal cervical cancer ribbon to hang in your car, wear on your body or attach to your bag or keychain. Although many people know about the pink ribbons for breast cancer, the teal ribbons for cervical cancer don’t get the same level of publicity. You can change that by showing your support.

Resources

Cancer News (n.d.). Cancer Support Groups. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from the Cancer News Web site: http://www.cancernews.com/support.html.

Eyes on the Prize (n.d.). Support and Information for Gynecological Cancer. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from the Eyes on the Prize Web site: http://www.eyesontheprize.org/index.shtml.

Fayed, Lisa. (n.d.) Cancer Support Groups. About.com:Cancer. Retrieved July 1, 2007, from the About.com Web site: http://cancer.about.com/od/howtocope/a/supportgroups.htm.

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (n.d.). Support Programs. Retrieved July 2, 2007, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Web site: http://www.mdanderson.org/patients_public/support_programs/.