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Coping with Cancer: Benefits of Joining a Cancer Support Group

Open discussion about mental health issues has been more prevalent in the past year, bringing awareness to this important issue. Research suggests that men with prostate cancer would benefit from support groups, yet they seldom attend them. In fact, women outnumber men by three to one in cancer support groups. What benefits can one expect to see from attending support groups? Let’s dive in and find out.

Benefits of Joining a Cancer Support Group

  1. Provides a low pressure environment.
    Cancer support groups offer a judgement-free, low-pressure environment to more deeply discuss topics and challenges associated with battling the disease. Despite the vast medical advancements  in treatments over the years, dealing with prostate cancer usually includes embarrassing side effects such as urinary and bowel incontinence and sexual dysfunction. This can have a profound negative psychological impact on a man’s confidence and overall mental health.
  2. Serves as a reminder that you are not alone. Attending a support group is a gentle reminder that you are not alone in this experience and the obstacles you are facing. Think of it as being a member of a sports team all working together towards a common goal. Just as a football team wants to win a game, a men’s support group wants to win the fight against cancer and see each other enjoy full lives.
  3. A place for practical feedback.
    Each session goes over treatment options, side effects, and aims to improve your understanding of the disease. You can openly ask any questions and receive timely feedback—empowering you to remain motivated and hopeful.

What should I expect during a prostate cancer support group?

Chicago Prostate Cancer Center support meetings usually feature guest speakers, patient stories, and current research findings. The goal is to provide another layer of transparency and support to aid the healing process.

Do I have to share and talk in a prostate cancer support group?

Short answer: you do not have to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. If you want to sit and listen and digest what everyone else is saying, that is perfectly acceptable. Open sharing is encouraged but not mandatory. Most men in the group who do share end up feeling a sense of support and relief afterwards. A positive mindset is very powerful and support groups have shown to help achieve that.

Who attends prostate cancer support groups?

Anyone is welcome to attend a Chicago Prostate Cancer support group. Most attendees are patients and survivors. Family members and friends are also welcome! Dr. Brian J. Moran, Medical Director of Chicago Prostate Cancer Center, is available at most meetings to offer support and answer questions. As a testicular cancer survivor, Dr. Moran is an unbelievable resource in these meetings because he is familiar with your pain.

When do Chicago Prostate Cancer Center support groups take place?

Our support groups take place on the first Wednesday of every month (with the exception of January 9th and July 10th). You can find all of the necessary information on our website. Be sure to take note of how to RSVP. We look forward to seeing you there!

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