It's people with cancer and, sometimes, family and friends, meeting regularly to talk about common issues. They can:
Support groups often meet at hospitals or community venues. Some groups have a specific-cancer focus (i.e. breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc.) while others are open to anyone affected by any type of cancer. There are two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cancer support groups available (Melbourne and Wodonga).
There are over 170 groups across Victoria and each group's different, so it's good to chat with the group facilitator about what to expect before attending.
Our cancer support groups follow a self-help model and are run by volunteers. There are also internet and phone support groups for those unable to travel, which are a little different, and are run by Cancer Council staff. These often have a specific focus (i.e. younger, women/men, cancer survivors, advanced cancer).
We run seminars for people who facilitate cancer support groups. These include 1-day seminars about facilitation as well as information seminars. A guide to setting up a cancer support group is also available.
For details or if you feel there's a need to start a new group in your area, call our Support Groups Facilitator on 9514 6100 or 13 11 20.
Cancer Action Victoria is a state-based umbrella organisation for advocacy and support groups. Visit their site to learn more.