Being diagnosed with lung cancer is a tough time for many people. Even if you have a good support system of friends and family, it may be helpful to connect with other cancer patients who will understand your situation in a different way. You may be the kind of person who finds it hard to reach out to others. You are not alone. There are many different kinds of support available and one or more may be just what you need.
In-person support groups
For some, the experience of talking with others face-to-face is the best way to connect. Ask your medical team if a group is available at your cancer center.”
- Lung cancer-specific support groups – Because of the stigma associated with lung cancer, some people feel most comfortable in a group with other lung cancer survivors. We track lung cancer support groups across the country, and you can find our list here. If you know of a group that’s not listed, please let us know!
- General cancer support groups – There are many places in the country where lung cancer-specific groups are not available. Call our toll-free information line at 1-800-298-2436 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for help finding general cancer support groups that might be in your area.
If there aren’t in-person support groups near you, if extra support is needed, or you appreciate the convenience of telephone-based support, here are some ways to connect.
If you like the idea of being able to connect online with others from all over the country who understand lung cancer, there are several options.
- LungLoveLink - Visit our online support community here
- CancerCare© has lung cancer-specific online groups as well. Visit their website here or call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673)
- Cancer Support Community – Formed by a merger of Gilda’s Club and The Wellness Community, the Cancer Support Community provides in-person support groups and classes but also has online groups.
- The Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR) – Has group e-mail lists for people with lung cancer
While peer support can be helpful, sometimes it’s not enough. A professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, counselor, therapist) may be better suited to talk about your feelings and reactions to the diagnosis and help you feel better. Finding help through counseling isn’t a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength. Here are some ideas to find the help you need.
If possible, find a professional (psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, counselor, therapist) who understands the emotional side of cancer. You can do that by:
- Asking at your cancer center if they have someone you can talk with
- Contacting the American Society of Psychosocial Oncology (APOS). Psychosocial oncology is concerned with the social, psychological, emotional, and spiritual side of cancer. Through APOS’s Helpline at 1-866-276-7444, you can find what cancer-informed counseling is available in your area.
CancerCare© offers time-limited counseling by phone. To find out more, visit www.cancercare.org or call their toll-free line at 1-800-813-HOPE (4673)
Cancer Information and Counseling Line. Telephone counseling is available through the University of Colorado Cancer Center. For more information, visit their website or call their toll-free line at 1-800-525-3777.