Many people find they need support after treatment finishes. The availability of services may vary depending on where you live. Some, but not all, services are provided free of charge.
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Free education programs for cancer patients and survivors are available in some treatment facilities or community centres.
These programs present information about cancer and its treatment, as well as practical information about life after cancer. They are usually also open to carers, family, friends and work colleagues. You may find it helpful to share tips and ideas with other participants.
Cancer Council NSW offers information about living well after cancer through webinars and programs such as ENRICHing Survivorship and Healthy Living After Cancer. These may include sessions on nutrition, exercises to help improve quality of life, mindfulness and adjusting to life following cancer treatment.
Getting in touch with other people who have had similar experiences to you can be helpful.
In a support setting, you may find that you are comfortable talking about your diagnosis and treatment, relationships with friends and family, and hopes and fears for the future. Some people say they can be even more open and honest because they aren’t trying to protect their loved ones.
There are many ways to connect with others for mutual support and to share information. These include:
- face-to-face support groups – often held in community centres or hospitals
- peer support programs – match you with someone who has had a similar cancer experience, g. Cancer Connect
- group education programs for survivors – often delivered by your local Cancer Council, programs such as ENRICHing Survivorship can help you meet others in a similar situation
- online forums – provide the opportunity to connect with other people anywhere and anytime, g. Cancer Council Online Community.
Talk to your health care team or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to find out about support groups and survivorship programs in your area.