Talking About Cancer for Help and Hope

By: Andrew Regan

There is an old adage which says that: "a problem shared, is a problem halved". Whilst it would be wrong to assume that simply by talking about cancer, the burden would be lifted altogether, talking to experts or others who have been through, or are going through a similar experience as you, can nonetheless be very beneficial.

Sometimes you might just want to speak to someone who is unconnected with your friends or family, and for this reason there are many phone lines manned by trained professionals, many of which have arrangement for night and weekend cover, for example The Samaritan and the NHS Direct. There are also phone lines specifically tailored for young callers. Cancer can have a huge impact on family life and these lines are there for young people who have been diagnosed by cancer, or for those who are concerned for a relative or friend. There are even phone lines available for those who English is not their first language, for example there are phones lines for Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu speakers. Calls to all types of cancer help lines are free, completely confidential and will not show up on the phone bill.

Help is also available for those who need advice about the practicalities of cancer for example whether you're entitled to benefits or financial help. Experienced benefits advisors can investigate your individual situation and aid you in finding the best solution; some benefits forms such as disability living allowance and attendance allowance are lengthy and complex, but a benefits adviser can assist in the completion of such forms.

It's also important to remember that cancer support doesn't have to be in the form of talking over the phone. For those that would prefer to talk to others in person there are hundreds of self help groups that meet on a regular basis to give cancer support, sympathy, advice, help and hope to each other.

If you can't get to meeting, jump online instead; there are now many cancer and chat room forums available on the internet. These tend to be populated by people who are either going through cancer themselves, or those who have friends or family who are sufferers. Internet forums offer the same help and support of self help groups, but they have the added convenience of being accessible from the comfort of you own home PC, at any time of day or night.

Remember: it's good to talk. There is so much help available to cancer sufferers via phone lines, internet forums and self help groups, that there is never a reason to suffer in silence.

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