Online support communities
The internet provides an expansive opportunity to find support when dealing with cancer. With so many people having access to the web, it’s easy to find others in similar situations. Many of these communities are based around a message board, such as the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Survivors Network, Springboard Beyond Cancer, and the Stupid Cancer Community. There are also unique websites, such as Caring Bridge, that provide an online platform for cancer patients to receive support from their friends and family members online.
Community cancer support groups
Students who prefer support from in-person interactions also have a number of options available. There are dozens, if not hundreds of cancer support websites that provide search tools or databases, so individuals can find a cancer support community close to them. One such tool is the American Cancers Society’s Search for Resources.
Patient lodging programs
Patients in cancer treatment must sometimes travel to a destination far from home or school. These treatments typically last more than a single day, so patients and the loved ones who accompany them must find ways to live during treatment. These costs, especially those that have to do with lodging, can quickly rise to unmanageable levels. As a result, special programs are in place, such as the American Cancer Society’s Patient Lodging Programs, to provide free or reduced-cost living arrangements for cancer patients and their caregivers.
Rides to treatment
Those receiving cancer treatments, especially chemotherapy, are often physically unable to safely drive themselves to and from treatment. And other patients simply don’t have the financial ability to travel long distances to receive certain treatments. Therefore, a number of organizations exist to meet these transportation needs, including the Corporate Angel Network, Angel Flight and the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recovery program.
Help with appearance-related side effects of treatment
The side effects of cancer treatment can be physically devastating. Some treatments drastically alter the physical appearance of a patient, such as losing their hair, losing a great deal of weight, and much more. Recognizing the importance of having a positive self-image and its effect on overall health, several organizations work to help patients manage the side effects that alter their appearance. One such organization is Look Good Feel Better.