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Mesothelioma Support Groups

Mesothelioma support groups provide comfort and a sense of belonging for patients and caregivers. Whether it’s attending meetings in person, joining online discussion groups, or connecting with a peer mentor, Mesothelioma Hope can help you find the support you need. Our compassionate Patient Advocates are always here to listen and share their guidance at every step of your journey with mesothelioma.

Medically reviewed by: Amy Fair, RN

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How Can a Mesothelioma Support Group Help Me?

Mesothelioma support groups help patients — as well as their friends, family, and caregivers — better manage the mental and emotional aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

They’re a safe place to share your feelings and experiences and learn from others who can relate.

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Mesothelioma support groups allow you to connect with other patients, as well as their caregivers, family, and skilled medical experts. All of these people can offer advice to you and help make your cancer journey easier. View Transcript.

Duration: 1 min 13 sec

A mesothelioma diagnosis can leave you feeling overwhelmed and looking for help. Mesothelioma support groups offer a lifeline of understanding guidance and connection for both patients and caregivers. One of the key benefits of joining a support group is the opportunity to share experiences and gain valuable insights from others who are on a similar journey. Through open conversations you can learn about different treatment options, discover coping strategies and gain a fresh perspective on managing the challenges of mesothelioma. And the best part, there are a variety of support groups that meet online and in person ensuring accessibility and flexibility for everyone. Mesothelioma support groups aren’t just for patients, family members and caregivers can also find communities tailored to their unique situation whether you participate online or attend local meetings. You’ll find valuable emotional support and guidance to help you cope during this difficult time. At Mesothelioma Hope, we’re dedicated to supporting patients and their families throughout their cancer journey. Contact us today for personalized guidance on support groups and other free resources.

Mesothelioma support groups can provide you with:

  • Emotional validation: Group support can provide a confidential and judgment-free space to share what you’re going through with other mesothelioma patients and families who understand what it’s like.
  • Healthy coping skills: Hearing how other people are working through their struggles can give you a new perspective on managing your own.
  • Practical information: Support group meetings are usually led by professional facilitators (such as a registered nurse) who can provide you with trusted information on respite care, treatment, mental health services, and other useful resources.
  • Social connection: Joining a support group can help you feel less isolated and more connected to others who are also processing the impacts of a mesothelioma diagnosis, either as a patient or loved one.

“The truth is that the only people who genuinely understand what you are going through are people who have experienced it themselves.”

- Quote from Alexis Kidd, 16+ year peritoneal mesothelioma survivor

“The mesothelioma support community has afforded me an incredible opportunity to meet others who have either been diagnosed with this same type of cancer or who have a family member battling this illness,” Alexis continues. “It is such a gift to be even a small part of their corner of the world.”

Learn more about what’s helped Alexis and other patients and their families find support after a mesothelioma diagnosis in our Free Survivors Guide.

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How to Find the Right Mesothelioma Support Group

Finding the right mesothelioma support group depends on your needs and preferences. There are groups designed specifically for patients and survivors and other groups that offer mesothelioma family support.

Some may be larger groups or meet one-on-one (such as peer mentor programs) and may be held weekly or monthly. Support groups can meet in person and online. All of these factors will influence what the right support group looks like for you.

“Seeing folks be in the moments I was in a decade ago helps keep my situation in perspective. They are feeling that same fear I once felt.

I hope our mesothelioma community helps these individuals find their way the same way that happened for me early on. We aren’t a large community, but we are pretty mighty.”

- Quote from John Panza, 12+ year mesothelioma survivor

Our caring Patient Advocates can help you find the right support group by:

  • Asking about your personal situation, schedule, and preferences
  • Recommending local and online support groups that fit your needs
  • Sharing additional support options, such as peer mentor programs and respite care
  • Helping you find or schedule your first meeting and get connected

They have decades of experience helping people all over the country who are either facing a mesothelioma diagnosis or are caring for a loved one who is. Call our free helpline at (866) 608-8933 to speak with them today.

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Types of Mesothelioma Support Groups

Support groups provide a dedicated space where you can share as much or as little as you want. There is a wide range of options for patients and caregivers to get support for mesothelioma, with meetings in person and online.

In-Person Support Groups

If you’re comfortable meeting face-to-face, a local support group is an excellent way to meet others who know what you’re going through. There are in-person mesothelioma support groups for both patients and their loved ones.

You can find local groups through:

  • Hospitals and mesothelioma cancer centers: Cancer centers with mesothelioma units often host support groups for patients and caregivers. Ask a member of your cancer care team what groups are available and when they meet. A hospital social worker can also direct you to other support communities in your area.
  • The Cancer Support Community: This nonprofit network has 190 locations where patients can access professionally led support groups. You can search by city, state, or ZIP code to find a group near you.
  • The National Cancer Information Center (NCIC): You can call the NCIC 24/7 at 1-800-227-2345 to get help locating a support group in your area.

Online Support Groups

Two people sit holding hands

Online groups provide another support option for patients and caregivers who don’t have in-person options near them, who are too busy or too tired to attend in person, or who simply prefer an online format.

Online support groups can meet virtually via communication platforms like Zoom, or through mesothelioma forums so patients and loved ones can chat or post on discussion boards.

Options for online cancer support groups include:

  • Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation: The Meso Foundation hosts support group meetings several times a month with different topics. These groups are hosted by mesothelioma survivors and medical professionals.
  • CanCare: This resource offers three support groups hosted on Zoom for caregivers, survivors, and patients battling a stage 4 cancer diagnosis.
  • Cancer Survivors Network: Founded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), this peer-based platform lets you join discussion boards and get advice from the wider cancer support community.
  • MyLifeLine®: This platform allows patients, caregivers, and loved ones to share insights, coping strategies, and inspiration. Licensed mental health professionals moderate themed discussion boards with topics ranging from grief support to treatment side effects.

Peer Mentor Programs

Peer mentorship has become an increasingly popular type of mesothelioma support. Peer mentor programs allow you to connect with other people who’ve been affected by mesothelioma cancer, whether as a patient or caregiver.

Peer mentoring occurs one-on-one rather than in a large group format. You can meet with your mentor in person, virtually, or over the phone whenever it’s most convenient for you.

Some popular peer mentor programs include:

  • Meso Foundation Peer-to-Peer Support Program: This service allows patients and their loved ones to speak to people who understand all the nuances of this particular cancer.
  • 4th Angel: Founded by Olympic gold medalist Scott Hamilton after his battle with cancer, 4th Angel pairs cancer patients and survivors with others who know what they’re going through.
  • Cancer Hope Network: This peer mentor program is available for both cancer patients and caregivers and matches peers based on location, similar life experiences, and other factors.
  • Imerman Angels: This international support organization has matched more than 36,000 people impacted by cancer with a peer for personalized support and empathy.

Learn how other patients, caregivers, and family members have coped with mesothelioma in our Free Survivors Guide.

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  • Survivors who beat the odds
  • Tips for fighting mesothelioma
  • Navigating life after treatment

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Other Mesothelioma Support Resources

Along with mesothelioma groups, patients and their loved ones can benefit from additional support services.

Other support options include:

  • Caregiver support: Being a mesothelioma caregiver can lead to stress and burnout, so it’s critical to get support by seeking outside help with daily activities, taking advantage of respite programs, and practicing self-care.
  • Faith-based support: This type of support typically includes prayer, counseling, meditation, and spiritual guidance.
  • Financial assistance: Many families affected by mesothelioma struggle to cover health care expenses, travel costs, and lost wages. Patients and caregivers can pursue financial support through nonprofit organizations, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and asbestos-related legal compensation.
  • Medical treatments: Depending on the stage of their cancer, mesothelioma patients can receive a variety of treatments, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy to hopefully live longer.

Our Patient Advocates are standing by to provide personalized support for every aspect of your diagnosis. Fill out our contact form to request more information.

Mesothelioma Support Organizations and Awareness Events

Patients and caregivers can find another form of support through community awareness events. There are many fundraisers, races, and advocacy events that unite people affected by mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos.

Learn more about these awareness events below.

Asbestos Awareness Weeks

In 2013, the U.S. Senate designated the first week in April as National Asbestos Awareness Week. This is a great time to advocate for Americans exposed to asbestos on the job or during their military service.

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) also celebrates Global Asbestos Awareness Week between April 1 and 7 of each year.

April 1-7
National Asbestos Awareness Week

International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference

logo for the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO)

Hosted by the ADAO, the International Asbestos Awareness and Prevention Conference met for its 18th year in September 2023.

The event, which was held in person in Washington, D.C., and via streaming, brought together 30 world-renowned experts to discuss prevention and treatment. Check back for information on the 2024 event.

International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

logo for the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation

The International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a two-day conference started by the Meso Foundation. It will be held in Chicago on October 17 and 18, 2024.

The event highlights mesothelioma clinical trials and emerging treatments and allows patients, loved ones, caregivers, and family members to connect with top cancer experts. If you can’t attend in person, you can watch the full conference on demand for free.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Mesothelioma Awareness Day has been observed annually on September 26 since 2004.

The Meso Foundation uses this day to heighten public awareness of mesothelioma using social media and promotes third-party fundraising events across the country that go toward research and treatment.

Miles for Meso 5K and 3K Fun Run/Walk

Runners cross the finish line at the 2023 Miles for Meso event in Alton, Illinois

The Miles for Meso 5K and 3K Fun Run/Walk allows people of all ages to honor their loved ones, advocate for patients with mesothelioma, and raise funds for awareness and research.

This annual event is sponsored by Simmons Hanly Conroy, a top mesothelioma law firm and the official legal partner of Mesothelioma Hope.

Get Help and Support for Mesothelioma

A mesothelioma diagnosis can be overwhelming, but you are not alone. In addition to many support groups and online forums, the caring Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma Hope offer personalized support.

Patients, caregivers, and loved ones can call our free helpline for:

  • A listening ear
  • Connections to a support group
  • Financial assistance options
  • Help with finding a doctor or respite care
  • Guidance on what to do next

Fill out our contact form or call us now at (866) 608-8933 to get dedicated support, no matter where you are in your journey with mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Support Groups FAQs

Who can join a mesothelioma support group?

Anyone whose life has been impacted by mesothelioma may qualify to join a support group. This includes patients, family members, spouses, children, friends, caregivers, and those in bereavement.

Can you live a normal life with mesothelioma?

Absolutely. Living with mesothelioma can be challenging, but there are reasons to stay hopeful. Your prognosis and quality of life depend on factors like the cancer’s stage, treatment effectiveness, and your overall health.

Early detection and advanced treatment options offer promising outcomes, allowing many patients to enjoy a good quality of life despite their diagnosis. Some patients have even lived for 15 years or more thanks to the right treatments.

Building a strong support network, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and working closely with medical professionals can go a long way to improving your well-being.

Is mesothelioma family support available?

Yes. The Meso Foundation provides support for caregivers and loved ones through Facebook groups and regularly scheduled Zoom meetings.

You can also reach out to your local hospital or cancer center to see if they run support groups for families affected by mesothelioma.

Our Patient Advocates can refer you to family-centered mesothelioma support groups as well. Call (866) 608-8933 now to get your own personalized recommendations.

Are there mesothelioma support groups online?

Yes. There are multiple options for mesothelioma support groups online. These include both virtual meetings on platforms like Zoom as well as online forums and discussion boards.

The Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation, CanCare, Cancer Survivors Network, and MyLifeLine® all offer online support groups for patients and caregivers.

What are some tips on how to support someone with mesothelioma?

If someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it can feel overwhelming to know how to help them. The most important thing is to let them know you’re there for them.

They’ll likely need some help with day-to-day activities if they’re undergoing treatment. You can support them by offering to care for their children or pets, driving them to appointments, or preparing nutritious meals.

From an emotional standpoint, you can offer a listening ear, send cards or small gifts to let the person know you’re thinking of them, or provide things like music or books to help them pass the time during chemotherapy sessions.

Registered nurse Amy FairReviewed by:Amy Fair, RN

Registered Nurse (RN)

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Amy Fair, RN, is a mesothelioma nurse with over 20 years of experience offering unwavering support to patients from the moment they are diagnosed and throughout the progression of their disease. Before becoming a mesothelioma nurse, Amy spent ten years providing compassionate care via home health care.

    Jenna TozziWritten by:

    Director of Patient Advocacy

    Jenna Tozzi, RN, is the Director of Patient Advocacy at Mesothelioma Hope. With more than 15 years of experience as an adult and pediatric oncology nurse navigator, Jenna provides exceptional guidance and support to mesothelioma patients and their loved ones. Jenna has been featured in Oncology Nursing News and is a member of the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators & the American Nurses Association.

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    References
    1. American Cancer Society. (2021, June 17). “How to be a friend to someone with cancer.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.cancer.org/treatment/caregivers/how-to-be-a-friend-to-someone-with-cancer.html
    2. Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. (2023, March 22). “Join ADAO for a Virtual Day of Asbestos Awareness and #BanAsbestos Action on Thursday, March 23, 2023.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org/newsroom/blogs/join-adao-for-a-virtual-day-of-asbestos-awareness-and-banasbestos-action-on-thursday-march-23-2023/
    3. Bender JL, Babinski S, Wong G, et al. Establishing best practices in cancer online support groups: protocol for a realist review. BMJ Open (2021);11:e053916. Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34732498/
    4. CanCare. (n.d.). “Get Support.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.cancare.org/support
    5. Cancer Pathways. (2021, September 21). “How To Support Someone Living with Mesothelioma.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://cancerpathways.org/mesothelioma-awareness-day/
    6. Cancer Support Community. (n.d.). “Cancer support helpline.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.cancersupportcommunity.org/cancer-support-helpline
    7. Cancer Survivors Network. (n.d.). Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://csn.cancer.org/
    8. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. “International Symposium on Malignant Mesothelioma.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.curemeso.org/get-involved/attend-conferences-and-events/symposium/
    9. Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. (n.d.). “Mesothelioma Support Groups for Patients, Caregivers, Bereaved.” Retrieved May 17, 2024, from https://www.curemeso.org/mesothelioma-treatment-plan/patient-support-and-resources/mesothelioma-support-groups-for-patients-caregivers-bereaved/
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    Mesothelioma Hope is passionate about helping patients and families affected by this aggressive cancer. A mesothelioma diagnosis can be scary and isolating, but we’re here for you at every step. Hope is only a phone call away.

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