Support groups

What are they?

Organised groups where people with cancer and their families can meet other people going through a similar experience. 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 be very beneficial. Groups offer practical and emotional support and can be helpful at all stages of cancer.

What to expect?

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

What is the evidence?

There is strong evidence that cancer support groups improve quality of life. Research has found that joining a group helps reduce distress, depression and anxiety. Studies have also shown benefits in people using online health forums.

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

This information was last reviewed in May 2015
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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