It’s a great comfort to be part of a caring community, especially when you are fighting for your own or a loved one’s life. A cancer diagnosis can be daunting, and treatment hard to bear.
You need not fight cancer alone – contact us for individual counselling, face-to-face support groups or join our online support groups today…
There are many times when the pressures of dealing with cancer can become a heavy emotional and mental burden. Cancer can affect us beyond just the physical effects of a tumour.
Whether you are newly diagnosed with cancer, a person who has had cancer before, or the Caregiver or family member of someone with cancer, you might experience some form of emotional stress as part of the natural human response.
Individual counselling is a very effective way to unload some of this stress in a safe and supportive environment, where our experienced counsellors can help you enormously in dealing with your feelings, hopes and fears.
Counselling is available for those with cancer, as well as their loved ones, and Caregivers at our CANSA Care Centres.
CANSA Tele Counselling
CANSA Tele Counselling can be accessed via the CANSA Help Desk on 0800 22 66 22 toll free, to make an appointment with a CANSA counsellor. Or send an email to the Help Desk via email@example.com – this is a confidential, professional, cancer-related telephonic counselling service to cancer patients, caregivers and their families and parents or guardians of children living with cancer. Counselling is available in seven languages (English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho and Setswana) and is free of charge.
CANSA recognises the importance of support groups for cancer Survivors, Caregivers and loved ones, and offers them the opportunity to join a caring community, when they join their local CANSA Support Group (details below), or one of CANSA’s online support groups.
Our active Support Groups connect cancer Survivors (patients / those in remission), their loved ones and Caregivers with others who have “been there”.
Here members will interact with others who have a real understanding of their life experience, and mutual sharing of coping strategies and valuable information may take place.
Bereavement support is also provided by CANSA.
CANSA Support Groups (Face-to-Face)
Contact your local CANSA Care Centre for more details.
Esther Makhabane: “ Many people in the area are dying of cancer due to lack of information and support, so the support group will save more lives and will give answers to many people, especially the newly diagnosed patients and their families. Correct information and not myths about cancer will be passed on to them.” (CANSA Support Group in Zwelisha, Lowveld)
CANSA and Netcare Support Groups
CANSA and Netcare have partnered to establish cancer support groups at nine of the private healthcare group’s hospitals. These support groups will be open to all persons impacted by cancer, from newly diagnosed individuals starting their cancer treatment journey to cancer Survivors, even those who have been in remission for years, as well as family members and caregivers.
CANSA Facebook Support Groups:
CANSA recognises that patients may not always be in a position to participate in a face-to-face support group, due to transport or health related issues. We provide the following online support groups and have facilitators per group that provide information to members, or refer them for support as required:
1. Our Facebook Group: CANSA Survivors – Champions of Hope for cancer Survivors (patients / those in remission) and loved ones – receive encouragement from fellow members and share your story
Portia Ntuli: “What I’ve seen so far in this group is that we share each other’s pain. Most people including friends and family don’t understand that cancer is an illness like any other, because you mention cancer and everybody you thought was your friend disappears. Colleagues shy away from you as if you have a death sentence. Therefore the cancer Champs are the family we need, when we need to be lifted up, or just to vent our fears.” (2018)
Cheryl de Wit: “Let’s just say that this group isn’t just a support group, we’re a family to each other. We voice our fears about treatment or check-ups. We can say that we’re feeling down or angry or broken inside. We can rejoice about getting the all clear after another check-up. We can grieve together when another warrior has received their ‘angel wings’. Here we all have voices that get heard. And nobody has got an issue that is too small or too big. We are here for each other and we understand.” (2018)
Lisa Lolly Mdleleni: “To me it is very helpful in support and there is a quick response not only to my questions, but to other members as well. I like the fact that each person is also given all necessary information that can help them.” (2018)
Peter Brand: “When I was diagnosed with colon cancer it was emotional, but decided I won’t go lie down, I’ll beat this. My next thought was how do I go about this on my own, and thus decided I needed an online support structure to vent my feelings and fears to help me get through the trial. Luckily I stumbled upon Champions of Hope and found immediately a family of hope. When one shares it helps one to heal, but at Champions of Hope you get the added value of members that listen and respond with love and encouragement. That alone speaks wonders for the group and helps one to mentally stride towards healing.” (2018)
Above quotes used with permission
2. Our Facebook Group: CANSA Caring for the Caregivers for Caregivers of cancer Survivors (patients) – receive encouragement from fellow members and share your story
Clarissa Oosthuysen Van Rooijen: “This group has encouraged me and helped me through the worst journey of my life. My hubby passed away from prostrate cancer after a 3.5 year struggle with the disease. Months before his passing I joined this group and followed similar journeys of Caregivers. Now almost 8 months after losing my husband I am still in contact with the friends I made. They keep me standing on difficult days. I still attend a CANSA monthly meeting as well.” (2018)
Rob Charlton: “Left floundering in shock after an unsympathetic announcement of my diagnosis, I would have wanted to know about a site like this. Since joining, my wife, who is my Caregiver, and I have been able to suggest and give support to others going through what we went through.” (2018)
Ronni Goodier Vanderbyl: “During my husband’s illness, I received a lot of moral support when I’d post an update. As a Caregiver, you often feel so alone…. but posting about feelings, would bring comfort in knowing you’re not alone. Since my husbands death, I sometimes post words of encouragement or comfort, when I read about other people’s struggles now…” (2018)
Above quotes used with permission
3. Our Facebook Group: CANSA TLC – Childhood Cancer Support for children & parents / guardians affected by cancer – receive encouragement from fellow members and share your story
Online Support Programmes:
- Our iSurvivor Online Support Programme to guide cancer Survivors (anyone who has heard the words ‘you have cancer’) along their journey and help them cope better (weekly emails)
- Our KickButt Online Support Programme to help you quit smoking (weekly emails)
Online Support Material
- CANSA’s CancerCare Coping Kit Audioprogramme (helping you & loved ones cope with a cancer diagnosis)
Find more info & resources here for cancer Survivors (anyone who has heard the words ‘you have cancer’) and view all CANSA’s Fact Sheets & Position Statements, which provide general information regarding cancer, conditions giving rise to cancer, coping with cancer, cancer screening, types of cancer, cancer treatment, nutritional guidelines for cancer patients, possible carcinogens and information on how to reduce cancer risk.
CANSA’s Fact Sheets & Position Statements are provided for general information purposes only, and to state our stance on particular matters. We do not specialise in treatment of cancer. It is therefore important to discuss any questions which may arise with the appropriate specialists.
Get in touch with us by sending us a message on Facebook or phoning CANSA’s Help Desk toll free: 0800 22 66 22 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org – you can also message us on WhatsApp: 072 197 9305 (English and Afrikaans) or 071 867 3530 (isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho and Setswana)
Care & Support Service
Contact your local CANSA Care Centre for information regarding our care & support services helping you to deal with your diagnosis or coping with side effects of treatment: we are able to assist with wigs, prostheses, medical equipment hire, stoma products / care, and home based care. Staff may also refer patients to experts in the community, for example, where physical rehabilitation is required.