Sometimes a diagnosis of lung cancer can make you feel alone and afraid. Getting to know other people who have similar experiences can be helpful. One of the ways we try and do this is by running support groups for people with lung cancer. There are more and more groups across the UK
Leeds Group, 2012
Why join a group?
A group can provide useful information about the impact of lung cancer. Groups often have invited speakers with specialist knowledge on areas like side effects of treatment, new therapies, financial advice and healthy eating.
"When I was first invited after my diagnosis, I thought, "No Way." My wife was thinking the same thing, but we daren't tell each other, so we went... It completely lifted us out of the gutter, lifted us no end. I would recommend it to anyone." (Dougie Reid)
Who can join a group?
Most groups are open to people who are being treated for lung cancer and those who have completed treatment. Equally important members are family and carers who can find it helpful to share thoughts and feelings with others who are looking after relatives.
"It's helped me tremendously; you're made to feel so welcome. It's like a readymade family and I love going." (Anne Ferguson)
How are the groups run?
Most groups are run by a Clinical Nurse Specialist, or other skilled professional involved in the care of people with lung cancer. These facilitators will usually organise the group meetings and may have special training to help them run the groups.
"On diagnosis your life seems to lose all direction and support groups are wonderful ways to access all the help and advice available in a friendly, surprisingly humorous and relaxed atmosphere. These groups are all expertly supervised by a widely experienced Clinical Nurse Specialist". (Robert Lowe)
Sheila Gallagher, Stobhill Group Glasgow
When do they meet?
Most groups meet monthly at a time and place that is suitable for members. This is often during an afternoon, sometimes at a centre in the hospital of in a local hotel or community venue.
Your local lung cancer information and support group provides an opportunity for people affected by lung cancer to come along and chat with people in a similar situation.
Use this link to search for details of your local lung cancer support group.
If there is not a group near you at present do get in touch as we are keen to support new groups where there is and interest.
Lyn Barrington helped set up the Stafford Group with her nurse Nicky Walker