Support groups

What they are

Organised groups where people with cancer and their families can come together regularly to discuss shared experiences. They include face-to-face and telephone support groups, online discussion forums and peer support programs.

Why use them

Getting in touch with other people living with cancer can offer emotional support, and help people feel less alone.

What to expect

In these support settings, most people feel they can speak openly and share their experiences with others.


There is strong evidence that cancer support groups improve quality of life. Joining a group helps reduce distress, depression and anxiety. Studies have also shown benefits for people using online health forums. However, they may not suit everyone.

Call Cancer Council 13 11 20 for information on counselling, support programs and online discussion groups.

This information was last reviewed in May 2018
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Support services

Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum

Need legal and financial assistance?
Pro bono services, financial and legal assistance, and no interest loans

Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment

Cancer information

What is cancer?
How cancer starts and spreads

Dealing with the diagnosis
Common reactions to a cancer diagnosis and how to find hope

View our publications
Guides and fact sheets for people with cancer, their families and friends