Tuesday, August 30, 2011

guest post: David Haas on the Benefits of Cancer Support Networks

Today's post features a guest post by David Haas who blogs as a cancer patient advocate on the Haas BlaagDavid's post talks about the many benefits of cancer support networks and includes several links to places where you can find support. On a personal level, I've found message boards, blogs and cancer sites a great place to sound off, seek comfort,  find hope, gain knowledge on treatment options, share advice and learn about new research. 

Thank's David!

Benefits Of Cancer Support Networks

Cancer is a hard, ugly disease. Dealing with a cancer diagnosis, painful symptoms, and aggressive treatment can take a huge toll on a person’s physical and emotional health. Whether someone is facing a treatable skin malignancy or a grim mesothelioma prognosis, it can be hard to cope with cancer alone.

The cancer experience is different for everyone, and no two cases are alike. But the common thread among cancer survivors is the need for a strong support system. No scientific evidence supports the claim that cancer support groups can extend survival time, according to the
American Cancer Society. But research suggests that support groups can enhance a person’s life quality.

Relationship And Rapport

While most patients have doctors, family members, and friends who support them, they can most benefit from the support of someone who has been there. Talking to other cancer patients offers a relationship that cannot be established with someone who has not gone through the cancer experience.

Cancer support groups provide the special relationships and rapport that patients need to cope with their disease. Group members can exchange firsthand advice, suggestions, and tips that doctors and supportive loved ones simply cannot share.

Hope And Optimism

Talking with someone who survived cancer to live a healthy, vibrant life offers hope. It helps patients feel more optimistic during treatment and recovery. Support group members describe their discussions with cancer survivors as encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring.

Anonymity And Honesty

Community support networks meet in hospitals, schools, churches, community centers, and homes. They are ideal for becoming more involved within the local cancer community. On the other hand, online support groups offer unique benefits that in-person groups cannot provide. People with cancer often prefer online networks over face-to-face groups. Online cancer support takes the form of blog posts, discussion forums, message boards, and chat rooms populated by cancer patients and survivors.

Since the Internet is an anonymous venue, many people with cancer prefer this type of support. Anonymity enables people to get comfortable enough to share their feelings honestly and openly. The Internet also requires writing, and the process of writing about cancer is an excellent therapeutic tool.

Cancer support groups are ideal for people with any type of cancer including colon cancer, rare aggressive diseases like
mesothelioma, breast cancer, or other malignancies. Not only do these groups teach valuable coping skills, but they also provide some emotional stability for those struggling in an unsteady world of cancer.  Below is a list of some great online cancer support groups:

By: David Haas

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your post. Because of my sister's blog, and those of many others, I find that I have really become a resource for colleagues, friends, and friends of friends who are going through similar experiences. I am eagerly awaiting my final stage to breast reconstruction - the "gift wrap" is what I call it - and have educated my plastic surgeon and also breast surgeon on the availability and use of temporary nipple tattoos, as well as permanent 3 D tattoos as an option to skin grafting. My plastic surgeon's 1st response was, "People SELL these?" After reading the product label and explanation, he quickly caught on and just one week later has already given the website address to another patient. (My hope is that he actually buys some himself and gives them away. :) ) Janine's wt