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Brain cancer support includes everything from online chat rooms to organizations promoting healing through humor, art, music, or animals. Public and private cancer societies offer a wide range of support options for patients newly diagnosed with brain cancer and survivors. Brain cancer support groups in some areas focus on caregivers to help them deal with the emotional toll of the disease. Support through individual neuropsychology counseling helps a brain cancer patient learn to compensate for losses in cognitive or physical abilities caused by the disease.
Patients and their families might meet at regularly scheduled brain cancer support meetings if they are available. These sessions might include discussions about treatment options and allow patients to share experiences. Support groups might be led by a professional nurse, social worker, or psychologist, or by patients in an informal setting. Brain cancer survivors sometimes lead these meetings to offer hope of recovery.
These cancer support groups might be educational or simply provide emotional support. Separate meetings are often held for caregivers who face difficulties in assisting a loved one with cancer. Other brain cancer support groups help family members deal with grief if a loved one dies from the disease.
Online support is popular because it allows interaction among a large group of people with different types of brain cancer and in various stages of treatment. Internet support might prove helpful for patients and family members who live in rural areas without other resources nearby. Chat rooms allow feedback with other people diagnosed with the same disease on issues that cancer patients face. The forums may be moderated by a leader to keep the discussion on topic and appropriate.
E-mail discussion groups typically require registration to participate. The subscriber can read information at his or her leisure and respond to forums or message boards. A moderator usually screens these messages for offensive content and ensures that the information provided is somewhat controlled. One disadvantage to this type of brain cancer support concerns privacy. Information might be shared with others outside the group.
Public agencies devoted to health issues commonly offer support to people with terminal illnesses. For example, the American Brain Tumor Association trains volunteers who provide telephone support to cancer patients and their families. Special hotline numbers match newly diagnosed patients with others who suffer from the same type of brain cancer to offer immediate support. These volunteers might also be cancer survivors who understand the fear a patient is experiencing.
Nontraditional brain cancer support involves using music, humor, dance, and drama as brain cancer support techniques to address stress. Animal therapy might also be available to comfort patients and help them cope. Some organizations promote camps or sports activities to give the cancer patient an enjoyable outlet for stress.
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