Cancer can take its toll on the body — but it can also wreak havoc on the mind.
Sadness, grief and anxiety are to be expected after a cancer diagnosis, but the illness can trigger more serious, and debilitating, depression. According to the National Cancer Institute, up to a quarter of all cancer patients suffer from depression.
Depression is a serious condition about which patients should consult their doctors. Apart from seeking medical treatment, other resources also exist, including online help for cancer patients suffering from depression. Thanks to the Association of Cancer Resources, people fighting cancer have access to an unlimited amount of support, right at their fingertips. ACOR offers an astounding 142 different online communities, most of which are classified according to the types of cancer. The site also features communities focused on specific side effects, childhood cancers and non-cancerous diseases.
Each community is connected through its own email list, which works like a two-way street for information: Users can send out emails about everything from new medical developments to challenges or triumphs they’ve encountered, and can also ask for advice or resources from fellow group members to assist them in their journey.
In addition to its email lists, ACOR has created, and also hosts, a variety of websites for both patients and caregivers to access and share information and support. Its OnoChat is a clearinghouse for anyone whose lives have been touched by cancer; the site steers away from the clinical side of things and instead focuses on creating community through engaging and lively discussions. Visitors can chat about the real-life impact of cancer.
Most important to all of ACOR’s sites and programs is the idea that users can connect with other people who are facing the same challenges they are. And that aim seems to be paying off. According to a testimonial from Kevin Kelly, ACOR should be the “very first stop on the Web” after a cancer diagnosis.
“Talking with survivors of your type of cancer is the best place to start,” Kelly wrote. “It normalizes the experience, provides vital information and support, directs you to the other resources you will need, saves you many wasted hours on the ’Net, helps you make sure that you’re getting the best available medical care and plugs you into a continuing network within which you can both ask for help and be of help to others.”
All cancer patients can benefit from a helping hand or a listening ear, especially those who are struggling with depression. With ACOR’s assistance, online help for cancer patients is just a click away.