My mom’s oncologist recommended soon after the life-altering diagnosis that we seek out cancer support groups to help us find answers to our myriad questions and to find more information about possible treatment options.
While my mother was still in her hospital bed recovering from her exploratory surgery and awaiting her eventual discharge, I already began sourcing information from the American Cancer Society (ACS), which has a seemingly infinite number of resources and information on oncological topics, including information on where to find local cancer support groups.
After a couple arduous months, during which my family and I helped my mom recover from her surgery and helped her prepare for her chemotherapy infusions, we first heard about the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA), a now widely known organization that was still in its early years at the time.
CCA: One Of The Leading Cancer Support Groups
The Colon Cancer Alliance is a colorectal cancer support group that aims to raise awareness about disease, which is diagnosed in more than 140,000 Americans every year and kills over 50,000 annually. (These figures, from the ACS, include those who have colon cancer and/or rectal cancer.)
With more than 35,000 members, including myself, it is the largest non-profit colorectal cancer organization in the United States and provides support, education, and advocacy for its members and their families. It hosts a number events throughout the year that aim to raise funds for colonoscopies and other forms of colorectal cancer screenings, treatment, and research.
We came to know much more about the CCA when they were sponsoring a colorectal cancer symposium at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. The CCA has a toll-free number and a chat line, and they also offer a program that connects patients and their families to others who have been through similar circumstances.
Perhaps one of the most well-known events that the CCA stages is its Undy 5000 5K Run and the Dress In Blue Day, a nod to the color that the organization uses to symbolize a united front behind fighting colon cancer and rectal cancer.
Other Top Cancer Support Groups
Breast Cancer Support Groups
One of the most well-known cancer support groups is the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. Founded in 1982, Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a leading advocacy group for those who have breast cancer. They popularized pink as the highly recognizable symbol supporting those who are affected by the disease.
Breast cancer is the second-most common form of cancer among women (behind skin cancer). More than 230,000 cases of invasive of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year alone, in addition to nearly 65,000 cases of in situ (non-invasive) incidences. 39,620 people are expected to die this year due to the disease; 1% of these cases will be in men.
The Susan G. Komen Foundation has spent more than $1.5 billion on breast cancer research, treatment, screenings, and other initiatives. The foundation has been lauded by countless advocates for its longstanding support of breast cancer research, prevention, and treatment programs.
Find breast cancer support groups in your area.
Skin Cancer Support Groups
The most common form of cancer in both men and women, skin cancer affects millions of Americans every year.
More than 2.8 million people are found to have basal cell carcinoma, and 700,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma will be diagnosed. Almost 77,000 incidences of melanoma will be found in Americans this year. Of the 7 most common forms of cancer, melanoma is the only one that is increasing in incidence.
The Skin Cancer Foundation is a leading voice for those who have any form of the disease, educating and supporting those with skin cancer and advocating the use of screenings and behavioral changes (such as staying out of tanning beds and wearing sunscreen) to help prevent future cases of this disease.
Find skin cancer support groups in your area.
Lung Cancer Support Groups
Lung cancer is notoriously common among smokers, but is increasingly arising in those who don’t smoke.
It is also the leading cause of cancer deaths, killing around 160,000 people this year, with nearly 230,000 new cases expected in this year.
To support people battling this highly common and very deadly cancer is the Lung Cancer Alliance, the nation’s largest, non-profit lung cancer organization. With a goal of cutting lung cancer mortality in half, the Lung Cancer Alliance stands at the ready to provide helpful information, resources, treatment details, and other vital support.
Find lung cancer support groups in your area.
Support Groups For Other Forms Of Cancer
There are many cancer support groups for individuals with other forms of cancer, including:
- Pancreatic Cancer Alliance
- American Brain Tumor Association
- National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
- Us Too Prostate Cancer Education & Support
Find a cancer support group in your area.
I would like to dedicate this blog post to my mother, Susan Melody McMorrow Hernandez (1953-2009), who courageously fought stage IV colon cancer for several years. I love you, Mom.
I want everyone to live their best life… for as long as possible. So I often write about the health screenings that we all should be getting — to help catch potential health issues early. (Yes, I get my screenings too.) I also share my knowledge and experience with specific health problems that I am personally familiar with.