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.|
Suzanne Grant, Senior Acupuncturist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; A/Prof Craig Hassed, Senior Lecturer, Department of General Practice, Monash University, VIC; Mara Lidums, Consumer; Tanya McMillan, Consumer; Simone Noelker, Physiotherapist and Wellness Centre Manager, Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, VIC; A/Prof Byeongsang Oh, Acupuncturist, University of Sydney and Northern Sydney Cancer Centre, NSW; Sue Suchy, Consumer; Marie Veale, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Queensland, QLD; Prof Anne Williams, Nursing Research Consultant, Centre for Nursing Research, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and Chair, Health Research, School of Health Professions, Murdoch University, WA.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Click below to download a PDF booklet on this topic.
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