Many men go through life without ever having to contemplate where to find the best prostate cancer support groups. Unfortunately, not everybody has the same story. In the year 2021, there were approximately 249,000 cases of prostate cancer in the United States where about 34,000 men died as a result.
Prostate cancer is not necessarily a death sentence. Most men that are diagnosed with it defeat it and carry on with life.
Regardless of whatever the outcome could be, the initial diagnosis can be devastating and terrifying. Sometimes men like to act like a cancer diagnosis isn’t a big deal and they are not afraid, but deep down they are scared to death. Prostate cancer is not only potentially deadly, but it directly affects a guy’s manhood area. Not fun.
In times of uncertainty and fear, it is always comforting to know that there is a place to go where somebody will listen that actually has been through the battle that you are about to embark on. Cancer is a scary disease. The more you know about it, and the more people that you surround yourself with that know about it, the better your odds are of beating it.
One of the greatest weapons against cancer is to become part of a support group that is made up of people that are not only familiar with cancer, but have lived through it, or are suffering from it and know it intimately.
There are probably thousands of benefits to joining a support group if you have been diagnosed with cancer, but we have put together seven of the most powerful ones:
1 Connecting With Like-Minded People
The only way to truly understand what a person is going through is to have gone through it yourself. Everybody that is part of a cancer support group of any kind will most likely be directly connected to cancer in one way or another. Whether they are currently fighting cancer and struggling with its effects, or they have already been through it and came out on the other side, the people that are part of a support group are very familiar with the illness, and will completely understand all of the challenges, emotions, and struggles that go along with it.
2 The Ability to Be Honest
Sometimes it is extremely difficult to be honest about feelings. Men, in general, have a hard time admitting that they are scared, powerless, or feeling defeated. Sometimes a sense of self-preservation kicks in and a man would rather not admit that he is weak for natural fear of being overtaken. A prostate cancer support group is designed with men in mind. It is a place to be open and honest about struggles, concerns, and feelings.
One of the most destructive forces that will hinder the healing process is negativity. Feelings of despair, feelings of anguish, anxiety, fear, and hopelessness are expected from time to time, but to dwell in the constant grip of these feelings is not good.
Sharing with a group of understanding people without shame is powerful. Being able to be honest about your predicament and how you feel about it is liberating. A support group is a safe place to open up and let it all go.
3 Support from a Group
Once a man opens up to a group of people and tells the truth about what is really going on inside it is absolutely beneficial to feel supported and understood by the peers in the group. A cancer support group is made up of people that are fighting a deadly fight and want help to cope with what they are experiencing during the fight.
Whatever a person shares in a group will be reverenced and supported by the rest of the group. When a person shares the truth, from the heart, it encourages other people to share on that same level. The group understands each member of the group because they are all suffering in a very similar manner.
4 Powerful Encouragement
Sometimes when people are fighting cancer they get bad news. There can be drawbacks from the treatment, side effects from medication, the cancer can spread, and so on. There are a multitude of possibilities that have the potential to throw a person’s mind into a downward spiral of negativity and despair.
The great thing about being part of a support group is that you can share bad news with the group. The chances are that somebody there has experienced news much like the news that you received. They can encourage you, and the others to keep fighting and moving forward with a positive mental attitude, and a strong energy.
5 Finding New Friends
There are probably lots of “macho” men out there that would never admit to needing more friends. The truth is that all of us need substantial, meaningful relationships in our lives in order to flourish. Strong friendships with deep ties give us the gift of being able to trust other people and lean on them when we feel weak or distressed. It also gives us the opportunity to be there for our friends when they need it.
The kind of friends that a person meets in the course of being part of a cancer support group are deep friends that share a traumatic experience. There is something about meeting friends and getting to know their real truths that makes the relationships stronger and more meaningful than other types of relationships. Regardless of the outcome of the illness, having true friends, even for a span in life, is powerful.
6 Sharing a Positive Message
The odds are that you are going to get through your bout with cancer and survive to carry on with your life. Along the way, you may go through the journey with several ups and downs. During this journey, if you are part of a cancer support group, you will be able to share all of these ups and downs with a group of people that may need to hear your sadness and triumphs.
When you share your experience with others you give them a ray of hope, a glimpse of light for their darkness. Sharing an honest experience with a person that needs to hear positivity is a gift for both you and the people that you share it with. Positivity is a healing property whether it comes from inside of you, or you hear it from somebody else. Share your experience with others in the group and you will reap the healing benefits as well.
7 Learning Acceptance with Support
In all honesty, not everybody wins the battle with cancer. Unfortunately, people will fight with all that they have and still succumb to the deadly illness. It is in times like this that people learn acceptance. Accepting things as they truly are is the only way to find peace in a terrible storm. Sharing your trials and tribulations with a group will bring you closer to all of the people that are present within it. There is a chance that somebody will share with the group that there is nothing more that can be done, the fight is over and the end is unavoidable.
The best that you can do is mourn with them and be there for them in their darkest hour. Their pain and fear will be shared pain and fear. You and the rest of the members of that group will support them and encourage them until the end. As dark and dismal as this may sound, it is a stepping stone in the direction of your own healing and learning of acceptance.
Prostate cancer is a very serious illness. Men should get regular screenings for it when they reach an age where they are more prone to get it. In any event, whether you or somebody that you love ever has to face the challenges of a diagnosis just know that there are support groups out there that are made up of men that are willing to listen, support, and be there for you when you need it the most.
***On the Aepios platform, members gain support from peers nationwide by sharing valuable real-world experiences, treatments, and outcomes for an expanding number of medical conditions.***