Minnesota Oncology

About Support Groups

How Support Groups Can Help You

If you have a personal, physical or emotional concern during cancer treatment, many local community support groups are there for you and your family.  Perhaps family members and trusted friends live far away or you may be new to your community.   Sometimes people suffer alone because they are unaware that help is available.   Support groups offer the understanding of those with similar experiences, plus practical help and education.  Many people have found strength and encouragement through support groups.  Click here to view a list of our local support groups

How they work

Many local hospitals and clinics have their own programs and schedules.  Group size is usually between 6 and 10 people.  These meetings are informal and usually include a nurse, social worker or other health professional.  Topics include a variety of everyday concerns and issues associated with living with cancer.  These groups offer you an opportunity to ask questions and express thoughts with others who are experiencing similar feelings.

What to expect

Some amount of uncertainty is understandable before entering a room full of strangers.  It is reassuring to know that the atmosphere will be friendly, compassionate and accepting.  New members quickly realize that their participation is voluntary.  There is an unwritten code of confidentiality within support groups, and each person’s privacy is respected.


Knowing that others share your concerns by virtue of “being there,” can bring a sense of relief.  Your concerns are no longer an individual burden.  Being with people who support and understand your feelings can be the greatest encouragement of all.  You may attend any hospital or community support group that is convenient for you.  A variety of resources and support groups are available.  Listed below is a short description of some types of support groups in the Twin Cities area.

  • Patient & Family Support: An informal gathering of patients and family members to ask questions and share thoughts with others experiencing cancer.
  • Angel Foundation:  Founded by Minnesota Oncology, this foundation hosts support groups dedicated to helping families facing cancer together, with unique programs for young children and teens.  For more information, visit their website at mnangel.org
  • Diagnosis-specific Programs:  A support group providing an opportunity to share common concerns and understanding about a specific cancer type.
  • Patient-only Groups:  These are unique support groups that provide patients only with an opportunity to share questions and experiences.  Some groups also provide care-giver only sessions, for those who are primary care givers for a patient.

For more information regarding support groups or additional listings in your community, please feel free to contact our Social Services staff.