What are Prostate Cancer Support Groups?

One of the things that men fear most in life is getting prostate cancer. It’s one of the most common cancers in men and getting diagnosed with it is definitely a scary experience. So what can prostate cancer support groups do to help mitigate this? 

Well, these cancer support groups can do quite a lot to help people that have been diagnosed with prostate cancer no matter their age, race, creed, or nationality. This is because cancer doesn’t care who you are so cancer support groups don’t either.

But what exactly is a cancer support group, and what do people do when they meet up in these groups? If you’ve never had to attend one of these groups you might be in the dark on the subject, so let’s do a bit of illuminating for you. 

Now, there is definitely a lot to know about this particular topic. There are a lot of different cancer groups and each one is a little different than the others, even if they have the same goal in mind. A big part of that is simply that everyone is different, so of course, if you get a group of people together it’s going to be a little different than another group of people. 

With that in mind, let’s dive into some seriously interesting information about support groups for prostate cancer patients so you can know once and for all what they are and how they help.

General Cancer Support Groups: An Introduction

Before delving into the more specific topic, let’s take a look at what general cancer support groups are so you can have a better understanding of the topic from the group up. Cancer support groups are pretty much what they sound like. 

People with any kind of cancer and their caretakers get together to sit around and talk about their issues. This is what a typical cancer support group looks like in chronological order:

  1. People start arriving, typically trickling in over the span of the hour before the meeting. 
    • As you might expect, the organizers are usually there first to get everything set up.
    • After the organizers arrive you can typically expect for patients and their caretakers to start showing up.
  2. The people that got there before the meeting converse among themselves while they wait for the meeting to commence. 
    • If the meeting has refreshments this is typically the time that people will help themselves to those. Not every meeting offers refreshments. 
  3. People start taking their seats 5-10 minutes before the scheduled start time for the meeting.
    • Most groups don’t have assigned seating, so if you want a seat up in the front row you might have to hustle for it.
  4. Once the meeting time arrives, someone will stand in front of everyone or sit in their chair and address the group.
    • This one is hard to say specifically what happens simply because each group works a little differently. 
  5. Group discussion begins after the opening statements if there is one. 
    • The actual structure of the meeting will also vary. Some meetings have people talking in turn, some meetings are like workshops. 
  6. Once the meeting is over, usually after about an hour but some groups are longer, people start to trickle out and go home. 
    • If the meeting accepts donations they’ll probably ask for those towards the end of the meeting.
  7. The organizers clean up the space that they used and go home themselves. 

While this is a good estimate of how most groups work, there can be a lot of variation from group to group. Just make sure that you keep an open mind when you attend a meeting, there are a lot of things that they can do differently. 

In fact, there is a lot of variation from group to group. Some groups are like night and day when compared to each other. This is something that’s worth going into more detail about so we’ll save it for another section, but just know that you have a lot of choices for which cancer support group you go to. 

Prostate Cancer Support Group | Griffin Health - Derby, Connecticut

Specialized Cancer Support Groups

Since we already covered what a general cancer support group is, let’s look at specialized cancer support groups. A lot of the structure might be the same, but there is one major difference between a general cancer support group and a specialized cancer support group. 

That difference is who is group is made for. General cancer support groups are made for people that have cancer in general. It doesn’t matter what kind of cancer, any cancer patient is welcome to come to those support groups. 

While some specialized cancer support groups do welcome anyone, they are specifically designed to help people with specific kinds of cancer. For example, you can find support groups specifically for:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 
  • Bladder cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Kidney cancer

Really, there are specialized cancer support groups for all sorts of different types of cancer. Those are the most common types of cancer to contract which means that you could probably find cancer support groups for them pretty easily. 

On the other hand, if you wanted to find a support group for something like Hyalinizing clear cell carcinoma you might have a hard time finding enough people to form an entire support group just because of how rare it is.

So, that means that cancer support groups for prostate cancer are just groups where people who have prostate cancer get together to support one another through their fight against cancer. This can take a few forms. 

Most cancer support groups exist to provide emotional support, estate planning support, moral support, or a combination of the three. It’s easy to find a group that meets your needs properly so you can feel like you’re getting exactly what you need by attending these meetings. 

The Many Different Types of Cancer Support Groups

As we mentioned, there are a lot of different types of cancer support groups. These variations exist both in the generalized cancer support groups as well as the specialized cancer support groups. This is simply because different people need different things, so of course there will be some variations. 

Here are the different types of cancer support groups in a bit more depth:

  • Emotional support groups
    • These groups exist to help patients with their emotional needs. If you’re in a group like this, you could probably expect it to look a lot like group therapy.
  • Estate planning groups
    • There are a lot of logistical things that cancer patients need to figure out just in case they lose their fight with cancer. These kinds of groups hope to help with that, and you can typically expect these groups to look a lot like workshops.
  • Moral support groups
    • These kinds of groups are a lot like the emotional support groups except the goal is to inspire hope more than anything else. This is also typically a group therapy type setting.
  • Combination groups
    • This is probably the most common type of cancer support group. These groups aim to help patients with all of their problems and can take on a lot of different forms. 

On top of those types, you also have some groups that are free, some groups that ask for donations, and some groups that cost money to attend. You can definitely pick the best one based on your budget, and some insurance companies cover these support groups so if you find one you like that’s out of your budget it could be worth seeing if your insurance will cover it. 

Since we covered all of that, it’s only fair that we cover one more aspect and that is the online cancer support groups. These groups have become more popular in recent years and you can find a good number of them if you know where to look. 

These groups also have a few variations:

  • Video call groups
  • Audio call groups
  • Instant messaging groups
  • Forums

The online groups have a few perks simply because of how flexible they are. If you can’t sleep all you have to do is log into your online cancer support group and see if anyone is online to help you with whatever problems are keeping you up. 

You have an enormous amount of options when it comes to your cancer support groups and you could more than likely find somewhere that you fit in perfectly, whether you’re a social butterfly or someone who prefers to spend a lot of your time alone.

Getting Help When You Need It

Sometimes life gets difficult, and it comes at your pretty quick. Knowing what options are available to you when the time comes that you need them can make a whole world of difference. Whether you’re young or old, you deserve the same kind of care as anyone else. 

Joining a cancer support group that’s specifically designed for your kind of cancer can make a whole world of difference in your fight against cancer because it gives you a chance to meet other people who are dealing with the same thing and help each other learn to better cope with the situation and handle any issues that arise.

Jessie Jacobs
Jessie Jacobs