Cancer patients often report that the hardest parts of receiving that kind of diagnosis is isolation. Even if your family and friends are physically close, it can be difficult for them to relate to your specific struggles and challenges. Leaning on them for support can help, but many patients find that it isn’t enough. There is no substitution for being able to speak with someone who is currently experiencing, or has lived through, the same thing. Attending a breast cancer support group can give you the type of community and support you need to get through this very difficult time.
Empowering and Encouraging
The biggest benefit of support groups is being connected to others who have intimate, personal knowledge of your current struggles and experiences. They can often provide you with practical support, giving you tips on how to handle the medications or how to navigate life without a ton of energy. Support groups are also places you can go to feel encouraged or empowered when you aren’t feeling positive on your own. Almost all healthcare professionals agree that support groups can do a lot of good for a patient, especially in terms of morale and mental health.
Challenges in Attendance
Unfortunately, not all patients are able to attend support groups in person. Some patients live in rural areas, making it hard to get to meetings. Others are still trying to juggle work, homelife, and medical appointments, leaving very little time for support groups. Others still may be too sick, weak, or tired from treatments to make it to any meetings nearby. Situations like these can leave patients feeling vulnerable, isolated, and alone. Unless you are also receiving chemo at a cancer center, you may not even encounter another patient you can speak with.
Online Breast Cancer Support Groups
This is where online breast cancer support groups and support group apps such as Belong excel. By joining an online community, you can instantly connect with an entire community of people who truly understand what you are experiencing. Online groups are often larger than in-person ones, meaning that you can connect with even more people than through traditional meetings. Communities that exist online or through apps are always open, always there, and always have resources you can use, no matter what time of day you happen to log on.
Whether you are a patient faced with a cancer diagnosis or a friend or family member searching for ways to help, online support groups are a great resource.