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lori-simpson-thumbBy Lori Simpson, Cancer Support Services Specialist, MSW

Many patients need someone to lean on for support during their battle against cancer.

Alegent Creighton Health Cancer Centers have all kinds of support available, from social workers and financial counselors to nurse navigators and our Image Recovery Centers. Sometimes patients and their families need to talk with someone who’s going through the same thing to cope better.

Alegent Creighton Health has more support groups than any hospital system in the metro. Some are educational, others involve group discussion, and most offer a combination of both.

According to the American Cancer Society, support groups make a difference. One clinical trial found that support groups helped relieve tension, anxiety, fatigue and confusion. Other research shows a link between group support and greater tolerance of cancer treatment and ability to follow treatment plans. My experience as a cancer support services specialist is that support groups can enhance quality of life.

The groups range from brain tumor and prostate cancer support groups (the most popular) to cancer-related fatigue support groups and “Just for Kids,” for those 12 and under who have a family member with cancer. Most are free and open to anyone in the community. Almost all are ongoing.

Alegent Creighton Health partners with the American Cancer Society on two important programs: Reach to Recovery, for women with breast cancer, and Look Good Feel Better, to help women with skin care and appearance during treatment.

Here’s a list of cancer support groups:

Cancer Survivorship meets to provide support, education and social activities for cancer survivors.

Lunch and Learn provides education and support for patients and families.

Surviving Bereavement is a four-week program for those coping with the death of a loved one.

Specific Cancer Topics: Brain Tumor Support Group, Breast Cancer Support Group, Cancer-Related Fatigue Support Group, Creative Choices for Cancer Stress, Colorectal Support Group, Living Well with Lymphedema, Therapeutic Journaling, Us Too/Man to Man Prostate Cancer Support Group, Cast to Recovery Retreats, Sarcoma/GIST Support Group, Just for Kids and “TAP,” Teens and Parents Discuss Cancer.

To learn more about these support groups or meeting times, visit AlegentCreighton.com or call 1-800-ALEGENT.



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