Building a support system

Help and advice from other people who have had similar experiences or observations can provide a very helpful form of support, and potentially improve outcomes.

What can you get from a support group?

Support is not about being a cheerleader. Support groups are safe places to feel understood and listened to.

  • Learning from others in a similar situation
  • Allowing yourself to express your emotions
  • Finding understanding and empathy
  • Obtaining valuable information and resources

Support is important

Support from many external sources is a vital resource to take advantage of. Sometimes, asking for help may seem unnecessary, scary, or show weakness, however division of labor to let you focus on getting better is really important. A shoulder to lean on or cry on, someone to go to the doctor with you and help around your home, someone who can get information about treatments. Those things will significantly improve your quality of life. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help; You are not alone.

Talking to someone really helps

A recent study led by Candyce Kroenke, MPH, ScD, from Kaiser Permanente Division of Research looked at the importance of social support for 1,429 women diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The findings saw that women diagnosed with colorectal cancer who reported low social support prior to their diagnosis experienced 42 percent higher mortality than those who reported high levels of support

Prediagnosis social support, social integration, living status, and colorectal cancer mortality in postmenopausal women from the women’s health initiative. Candyce H Kroenke et al.,  ​
Cancer 2020 Apr 15;126(8):1766-1775. doi: 10.1002/cncr.32710. Epub 2020 Jan 2


How to find support near you

Ask your healthcare team to provide with you support group options for you, either to attend in person, or remotely, or both.


Facebook Pages

Community groups

Online forums


Health Care Providers

Spiritual and religious advisors

Your Friends and family

"Having a group of people that understand how I’m feeling really helped me. Sometimes, you don’t need a cheerleader. Just someone to listen."

Hans Meyer

Sarcoma survivor, Düsseldorf

Representative patient; for illustrative purposes only

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