Learning you or a family member has cancer can be an overwhelming experience that leaves one with many questions about what to do next and how to adjust to the diagnosis. It can help an individual to talk to people who are going through the same challenges. The following websites link to either chat groups or message boards where patients with cancer and their family members can communicate and seek support throughout the process. The chat rooms may meet the needs of patients who want to be actively involved in a conversation between patients. Many of the chat rooms have virtual support group meetings at designated times, so you may want to note what day and time patients will be signing on. Patients who prefer to write questions/comments may want to link to the message boards, and although there is not an interactive conversation, patients can write and check for responses at a time that is convenient for them. Listed below are links to chat rooms or message boards that serve as support groups for patients with a variety of different cancers, as well as patients who have a genetic predisposition to cancer.
Please note that these support groups are often designed by patients, not medical professionals, and contain individual opinions and experiences. For this reason we cannot verify the medical accuracy of the information on these sites.
FORCE: Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered
This website has both chat rooms and message boards available to patients. This website offers support for women who have been diagnosed with breast and/or ovarian cancer. Furthermore, this website provides support groups for women who do not have cancer but are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer (pre-survivors). Currently, the chat support group meets at the following times: Mondays at 10:00 pm EST for pre-survivors, Wednesdays at 9:30 pm open to all, and Thursdays at 9:00 pm open to all.
Breast Cancer Support
This website links directly to the webpage to access the breast cancer support chat room. This chat group is for patients with breast cancer and survivors of breast cancer; it enables them to communicate and share their experiences with one another. The chat support group is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but it is most active in the evening starting around 8:30 pm EST.
To introduce yourself to this website, first enter the Meeting Place for Survivors and from there, one can access the homepage to link to the other message boards.
Friends in Need: A Support and Chat forum for Breast Cancer
The following link connects to a breast cancer support chat room that may be helpful and supportive for anyone who is involved in breast cancer. The chat room is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but it has a weekly meeting at 8:30 pm EST on Wednesdays.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
This link connects to a website containing a number of message boards for patients with breast cancer and their families. Patients with breast cancer can ask questions, leave comments, stories, and poetry. Topics of the message boards include: Young Survivor Connection, Women living with Metastatic Disease, and a forum for all patients with breast cancer.
Sharsheret: Linking Young Jewish Women In Their Fight Against Breast Cancer
Sharsheret is a national organization of cancer survivors dedicated to the unique concerns of young Jewish women facing breast cancer. This organization provides information to patients and many distinct services such as the Link program which connects young Jewish women facing breast cancer to volunteers who are available to share their own breast cancer experiences. Sharsheret hosts education and outreach programs, has a Sharsheret Update newsletter, and message boards available.
Cowden Syndrome Support Group
This is a discussion board website which offers support for individuals and families affected by Cowden Syndrome and Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba Syndrome, both of which are caused by mutations in the PTEN gene.
Breast Cancer Support Group: Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
This support group is provided by the Women's Health Education Institute. This group is open to anyone with breast cancer and "long time" survivors of breast cancer. Family and significant others are welcome to attend the group. Groups are educational and supportive.
John W. Nick Foundation, Inc.
This organization aims to educate the world about the risk of breast cancer in men, and to provide preventive and reactive measures to cancer through education and research. Their website provides information, discussion boards, fundraising opportunities, and links to many other resources specifically for men facing breast cancer.
The J-Pouch Group
This website provides support and information regarding the Ileo-anal anastomosis, or J-Pouch operation. This procedure is sometimes done for individuals with Ulcerative Colitis, cancer, or familial polyposis.
This is a Yahoo group which includes a discussion board and is designed to provide support for individuals and families with Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer, or Lynch Syndrome.
This website has information available for young colon cancer patients and families. On the website there are links to resources and message boards so that patients with similar experiences can share their stories.
HDGC: Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer
This is a Yahoo! message board where patients with hereditary gastric cancer can discuss their health concerns and questions.
No Stomach For Cancer
This is a non-profit organization committed to advancing stomach cancer awareness and education, providing a network of support for families affected by stomach cancer, and funding research. Their website includes information about gastric cancer and treatments, news, events, a blog for personal stories. They also have a facebook page at (www.facebook.com/pages/No-Stomach-For-Cancer-Inc/171911346631).
American Cancer Society: The Cancer Survivors Network
The American Cancer Society website has message boards available for most types of cancers. Thus, patients who are suffering from some of the rarer forms of cancer can contact other patients who are undergoing similar experiences. There are also chat support groups for patients accessible on this website. To enter these chat groups, one must register with the Cancer Survivors Network.
This website links to a number of message boards where patients can ask questions, discuss their experiences, and seek support from patients and family members who have gone through similar challenges. Message boards cover topics including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, FAP/Gardner Syndrome, and many other cancers.
Support Groups through the Penn State Cancer Institute
Healing Yoga: This is a gentle, healing class for people recovering from cancer*, and those who are supporting a loved-one. Leukemia, Lymphoma & Multiple Myeloma Family Support Group: This group offers support for patients, family members, friends, and survivors of blood cancers.
This organization is based in Washington State, but provides a 24-hour hotline called the Lifeline. They do not provide medical information or advice, but will provide a listening ear and emotional support for cancer patients, survivors, family members, friends, and co-workers. This organization also offers several products, including a Cancer Lifeline Cookbook which is designed to empower patients, caregivers, and others to create healthful and nutritional meals.
Imerman Angels is a non-profit organization providing one-on-one cancer support that connects cancer fighters, survivors and caregivers. Imerman Angels partners a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten the same type of cancer. The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world.
The Wellness Community
This organization is dedicated to providing education, support, and hope to individuals and families facing cancer. The website includes a wealth of helpful information and an online support group. Many Wellness Community locations offer classes in helping children cope with a parent is diagnosed with cancer.
Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome (PJS) and Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS) Online
This is an online support group for individuals with Peutz-Jeghers and Juvenile Polyposis syndromes, provided by the Association of Cancer Online Resources Inc.
Zero: The Project to End Prostate Cancer
This website features updates of the latest prostate cancer information, a blog system, support group and clinical trial search engines, and how to get active in the project to end prostate cancer. As the name conveys, the Zero website stands for zero tolerance for prostate cancer.
Young Adults with Cancer
Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults
This organization works at a grassroots level to support, educate, connect and empower young adult cancer survivors. They work to raise awareness and ensure that all young adults and families impacted by cancer have a voice and the resources necessary to thrive. They also provide college scholarships for young adults with a personal cancer diagnosis or a loved one with cancer.
I'm too young for this! Cancer Foundation
Founded by and for young adults affected by cancer, The I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation is the nation's largest support community for the next generation of patients, survivors and caregivers between 15-40.
This organization is a group for young adults with cancer which consists of an online community, weekend retreats, and raising cancer awareness through the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance.
Teens Living with Cowden Syndrome
Teens Living with Cowden Syndrome is a new online support resource for teenagers with Cowden syndrome or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome (BRR). Members can create forums for discussion. They can also create their own blogs, add photos, play games and more! The goal of this support resource is to connect as many teens with Cowden syndrome / BRR as possible worldwide.