Cancer Support Groups - A Guide to setting up and maintaining a group

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 Who this book is for

This book is for community members and health professionals who are interested in setting up and leading a cancer support group. It's also useful for leaders of established support groups who want to review their leadership and group practices. The information is relevant regardless of your previous experience with support groups, and your location in Australia.


Support groups bring together people affected by cancer to help them manage the challenges they may face. They provide a way for people to give and receive emotional support and share information. Research shows that this kind of support has a positive impact on quality of life and emotional wellbeing.

How you set up and coordinate a support group is up to you. We hope this book provides useful information to help you:

  • work out the need for a cancer support group among your community
  • determine a group's purpose and format
  • learn how to establish, run and maintain a support group
  • promote a group to the community
  • deal with challenges that may arise
  • revive or close a flagging group.

This publication has general information and guidance - it focuses primarily on face-to-face support groups, and not all the information will apply to your situation. For more specific details or to inquire about support group leader training, call your local Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

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