Support groups form a fundamental and effective part of complementary treatments for those with cancer. While going through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, people can sometimes begin to feel isolated and depressed. For those with cancer, support groups provide a place for people to talk about their fears, worries, and sorrows. By talking and sharing emotions with each other, those within the support groups are hopefully able to find relief from the fears of having cancer and undergoing drastic treatments. Support groups differ from group therapy; in support groups, the main speaker is usually a notable survivor, peer, or professional worker who helps to organize the support system and offer their personal accounts as well. In group therapy there is usually a trained psychotherapist or counselor who acts as the principal speaker. Support groups work to perform multiple healing tasks: behavioral therapy, information dissemination, and training in group interaction can all take place either secular or in conjunction with one another. These can then be used in combination with the talking and sharing of emotions, providing a flexible and powerful experience for cancer patients.
Benefits of Support Groups
There is scientific research which suggests support groups alleviate some of the negative side effects associated with cancer. For instance, one study noted by the American Cancer Society, found that there was less confusion, anxiety, tension, and stress. These patients also claimed to have a higher level of energy. It is often believed that the negative side effects associated with a cancer diagnosis, such as mesothelioma, are partly decreased by providing patients contact with other people experiencing similar situations and symptoms. Together, these patients share the emotional and psychological burdens.
Support groups can take place face-to-face, online, and over the telephone. It is common to group together those with the same cancers, or patients undergoing the same treatments and complications. This ensures that each person is able to both give and gain support through these interactions. These similarities help the group to relate to one another, and give the main speaker a point of reference as far as appropriate topics and discussions. When coupled with standard medical procedures, support groups could result in reduced pain and stress, along with a sense of peace among patients. Patients diagnosed with cancers such as mesothelioma may benefit from complementary therapies such as this one. Mesothelioma exhibits a long latency period, oftentimes resulting in diagnosis occurring in the later stages. Due to the diagnostic stage, palliative treatment options, such as support groups, are an option to be considered. Reference: