What Are the Benefits of Mesothelioma Support Groups?
Mesothelioma support groups help patients — as well as their friends, family, and caregivers — cope with all aspects of a cancer diagnosis by providing a safe place to share experiences and learn from others who are facing the same worries and challenges.
“The truth is that the only people who genuinely understand what you are going through are those who have experienced it themselves. The mesothelioma 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. It is such a gift to be even a small part of their corner of the world.”
—Alexis Kidd, Peritoneal Mesothelioma Survivor
Mesothelioma support groups can provide you or a loved one with:
- Emotional support: Support groups provide a safe and confidential space for patients to share their feelings and experiences with mesothelioma.
- Helpful coping skills: By hearing about other patients’ cancer journeys, you can gain a fresh perspective on how to cope with your mesothelioma diagnosis.
- Practical information: Support groups often feature professional speakers or facilitators who can provide information on treatment options, mental health services, and other useful resources that can help you physically and emotionally.
- Social connection: Mesothelioma support groups can help you feel less isolated and more connected to others who are going through similar experiences with this cancer.
According to a 2021 study published in Open BMJ journal, there is “considerable evidence” that cancer support groups help enhance coping skills, reduce feelings of isolation, depression, and anxiety, and lead to better-informed patients.
We can help you find mesothelioma support groups. Reach out to our Patient Advocates at (866) 608-8933 now to get started.
Top Mesothelioma Support Groups for Patients
Mesothelioma support groups provide a dedicated space where you can share as much — or as little — as you want. Simply listening to the experiences of other patients and mesothelioma survivors can be incredibly helpful, especially during your first few group meetings.
There are a wide range of support options for mesothelioma, with patient groups meeting in person, over the phone, and online.
Local Support Groups
If you’re comfortable meeting in person, local support groups are an excellent way to meet others who have walked in your shoes.
You can find local support groups for patients through:
- Hospitals: Most hospitals offer on-site cancer support groups for their patients. You can ask a member of your care team what groups are available and when they meet. Additionally, a hospital social worker may be able to direct you to other cancer support communities in your area.
- Mesothelioma Cancer Centers: Cancer centers with mesothelioma units often host support groups for patients battling this disease. For example, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston holds “Living with Mesothelioma” support groups throughout the year.
- The Cancer Support Community: This nonprofit network has 175 locations where cancer 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 800-227-2345 to get help locating a mesothelioma support group in your area.
Since this cancer is so uncommon, there may not be a support group near you dedicated solely to mesothelioma. If you cannot find an in-person mesothelioma support group close to you, consider contacting a helpline or attending an online meeting.
Learn more about treatment and support resources in our Free Mesothelioma Guide — shipped overnight to your door.
Telephone Support Groups
Phone-based mesothelioma support groups are especially helpful to busy patients going through treatment or late-stage patients who cannot leave their homes for extended periods.
You can find mesothelioma phone support groups through:
- CanCare: This group helps connect patients with cancer survivors who provide support through phone calls and text messages as patients fight their disease.
- CancerCare: This national organization holds online support groups using a password-protected message board. Each group runs for 15 weeks at a time and is led by a professional oncology social worker.
- Cancer Support Helpline: This helpline connects cancer patients with resources and communities to meet their needs.
- Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation: The Meso Foundation hosts patient calls on the second Monday of every month at 7 p.m. (ET). Each call is hosted by a mesothelioma survivor.
- Mesothelioma Hope: Our Patient Advocates understand the challenges patients and their loved ones face as they battle this cancer. They can lend a compassionate ear or refer you to a nearby support group. Call (866) 608-8933 to get help right now.
Mesothelioma Support Groups Online
If you need more flexibility, an online mesothelioma support group might be a better fit.
Examples of online mesothelioma support groups include:
- 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 community.
- Mesothelioma Straight Talk – General Discussion: This is a private Facebook group sponsored by the Meso Foundation where patients and loved ones can share their stories.
- Mesothelioma Straight Talk – Patient Support: The Meso Foundation created this group for patient-specific support on topics like living with mesothelioma, managing treatment side effects, and more.
- MyLifeLine: This platform allows cancer patients to share insights, coping strategies, and inspiration. Discussion boards are moderated by licensed mental health professionals and cover topics ranging from nutrition to immunotherapy.
These online forums are a great way to connect with cancer patients around the country and read inspiring stories of survival as you fight mesothelioma.
Our Patient Advocates can also recommend mesothelioma support groups tailored to your needs. Connect with them at (866) 608-8933 today.
Family and Caregiver Mesothelioma Support Groups
A mesothelioma diagnosis can affect the entire family. Watching a loved one fight cancer is extremely difficult, and many people struggle to cope with their feelings of anxiety and grief.
By attending a caregiver, spouse, or family support group, you can learn how to manage a loved one’s mesothelioma diagnosis and bond with others in the same situation. These shared connections can help improve your mental health and overall well-being.
The Meso Foundation manages the following online mesothelioma support groups for caregivers and families:
- Mesothelioma Straight Talk – Caregivers – Advanced Disease: This group gives those caring for a late-stage mesothelioma patient a place to learn about symptom management and other care options.
- Mesothelioma Straight Talk: Caregivers – Early Disease: This group focuses on early-stage mesothelioma caregivers looking for inspiration, encouragement, and support.
- Mesothelioma Loss Support Group: It can be painful to process the death of a loved one alone. This forum allows those who have lost someone to mesothelioma to build a support network and learn helpful coping skills.
The Meso Foundation also hosts a Caregiver Support Group, a Young Widows and Widowers Support Group, and a Spousal Loss Conversation Group, all of which are accessible via Zoom and telephone.
Download our Free Self-Care for Caregivers Guide to learn about stress-relieving techniques designed to support those caring for a loved one with mesothelioma.
Other Types of Mesothelioma Support
Along with mesothelioma groups, patients and their loved ones can benefit from additional forms of support.
Other support options include:
- Emotional support: Patients, caregivers, and families can access mesothelioma supportive therapy from a licensed counselor to manage anxiety and depression.
- 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 medical expenses, travel costs, and lost wages. Eligible patients and their families may be able to access mesothelioma financial support through nonprofit organizations, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and asbestos-related legal compensation.
- Medical treatment: Depending on the stage of their cancer, mesothelioma patients can receive a variety of treatments, including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.
Learn more about these other types of support in our Free Mesothelioma Guide — packed with nearly 100 pages of information to help you continue on a path to healing.
Community Support and Awareness for Mesothelioma
Community support helps spread awareness of this rare disease and educate the public on the dangers of asbestos, which is the only known cause of mesothelioma.
Fundraisers, races, and other awareness events unite individuals affected by mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases to share personal experiences, learn about new treatment options, and advocate for cancer research.
Learn more about these awareness events below.
Asbestos Awareness Week
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.
International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
The International Symposium on Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a two-day conference started by the Meso Foundation.
The event highlights mesothelioma clinical trials and emerging treatment options and allows patients, caregivers, and family members to connect with top mesothelioma experts.
If you are unable to 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
The Miles for Meso 5K and 3K Fun Run/Walk allows people of all ages to advocate for mesothelioma victims and raise funds for the ADAO. This annual event is sponsored by Simmons Hanly Conroy, a top mesothelioma law firm.
Virtual Day of Asbestos Awareness and #BanAsbestos Action
The ADAO hosted this first-ever event on March 23, 2023, with all-day virtual communications between ADAO leadership, asbestos warriors, medical experts, experienced attorneys, and international public health advocates,
The purpose of the event is to:
- Compel Congress to reintroduce the Alan Reinstein Ban Asbestos Now (ARBAN) Act
- Dispel misconceptions about asbestos usage in commercial products
- Educate the public about the dangers of asbestos exposure
- Generate support for legislation to ban asbestos in the United States
World Lung Cancer Day
August 1 was named World Lung Cancer Day by the American Lung Association (ALA) to advocate for lung cancer research with local events and nationwide social media takeovers.
While mesothelioma is not a cancer of the lung, it often affects the lung lining, and many patients need to have a lung removed as part of their treatment. Asbestos exposure can also cause lung cancer in some cases.
How Mesothelioma Hope Supports Patients and Caregivers
A mesothelioma diagnosis can profoundly affect you and your loved ones. You may feel anger, confusion, sadness, and isolation as you navigate life with mesothelioma.
You are not alone on this journey. Thousands of other people are in the same situation and can relate to exactly what you’re feeling at this very moment.
Mesothelioma support groups are a great place to find helpful information, empathy, and a shared understanding of your situation.
Mesothelioma Hope also offers 24/7 assistance from our Patient Advocates, who have more than 45 years of combined experience helping families whose lives have been forever altered by this disease.
Contact us today to share your story and get the support you need.
Mesothelioma Support Groups FAQs
How does mesothelioma affect your mental health?
If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it is common to have feelings of anxiety and depression about the uncertain journey ahead.
Patients and caregivers are encouraged to find mesothelioma support groups and lean on their friends and families following a diagnosis and during treatment.
Talk to your doctor about what steps you can take if you begin experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression after a mesothelioma diagnosis.
How can I find mesothelioma support groups online?
Online communities have become more popular than ever in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trusted organizations such as the Meso Foundation and the ACS offer numerous online support resources.
Even though you may not be able to meet with other mesothelioma patients in person, you can still make meaningful connections online. Contact our team today for help finding online support groups.
Are there mesothelioma support groups for family members?
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.
How can I help someone with mesothelioma?
There are many different ways to help a friend or relative with mesothelioma. For example, you can bring them meals, run their errands, drive them to doctor’s appointments, or accompany them to support group meetings.
The best place to start is checking in with them and asking how you can help. Everyone handles a cancer diagnosis in their own way and will have unique needs depending on their situation.