Living with pancreatic cancer can create an array of emotional and physical challenges. Fortunately, these new life difficulties can be greatly improved with the right support system in place. While family and friends can offer assistance there are many benefits to speaking with other pancreatic cancer patients and those with a shared experience. While not conventionally thought of as part of your medical team, support groups can provide a wealth of resources, tips and helpful information.
Participating in a support group online can make the difference between feeling alone and isolated versus feeling empowered and connected. Support groups can be beneficial for both the patient and the caregivers as it provides a safe space to connect with people going through comparable medical and psychological experiences. Not all support groups operate the same; some gather virtually while others are online forums where patients post questions, so take the time to find one that feels right for you.
Below are some of our partners and organizations that understand the importance of support groups for both pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones.
- American Cancer Society provides free support services for anyone living with cancer and their loved ones. Search for support programs and services in your area.
- CancerCare provides free, professional support services for people living with cancer. They offer counseling with an oncology social worker to help cope with the emotional and practical challenges of pancreatic cancer. They also provide free online support groups for both pancreatic cancer patient and caregivers.
- Cancer Support Community offers a toll-free helpline and live web chat where anyone affected by cancer can speak with licensed counselors. Through MyLifeLine, you can create a private support webpage to stay connected with friends and family.
- WeSPARK offers an array of free support groups, from a caregivers group to a singles support group as well as in-treatment and post-treatment groups. They also offer various supplemental programs such as acupuncture, reflexology and tai chi. They advise an intake session where they review your history to better recommend programs that may be a good fit.
- Pancreatic Cancer Connections is an online social community that provides a safe space for pancreatic cancer patients and their loved ones to share their experiences, get valuable coping resources, and support one another.
- If you’re comfortable with social media, there’s a Facebook group called the Whipple Surgery Survivor Group. With patients from around the world, this vast community can be the right resource for those looking to connect with other patients on Facebook. This group does require you to have a Facebook account and posts may not be private.
- The Smart Patients Pancreatic Cancer discussion forum is an online support group for patients and caregivers dealing with pancreatic cancer. Members share help, advice and information about treatments, symptoms and side effects.
- Cancer Support Community South Bay offers a free, virtual group for pancreatic cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, and family members to build and maintain a support community from diagnosis through treatment and recovery. (Available for California residents only)
- If you’re looking to connect with other patients and caregivers, ANCAN offers a virtual peer-to-peer support group with the mission to provide all pancreatic cancer patients with a better quality of life.
- Another virtual peer-to-peer group is led by long-term survivor Tom. Tom facilitates a space for patient and caregivers to share experiences, knowledge and support. Zoom calls are every Friday from 9:00am until 10:30am PST, contact Tom for more details.
If you are a patient or caregiver with questions, contact Patient & Family Support today.