CancerCare unveils its new online support for members of the LGBTQ+ community who also have cancer.
LGBTQ+ people (LGBTQ people and those who go by other terms) can face complex issues when it comes to coping with cancer, so the non-profit organization CancerCare is offering free online support groups for patients and caregivers in this community.
“As an LGBTQ+ person, being affected by cancer may be more complicated because of who you are and who you love,” CancerCare wrote in an announcement about the programs.
“CancerCare’s Online Support Group Program is here to help and provide connections, community, support and education.”
Throughout the year, CancerCare offers free online support groups to connect those affected by cancer with peers from across the country. Two groups are now open to the following individuals within the LGBTQ+ community:
Members of the gay male community who have any type of cancer and are in treatment or have completed treatment within the past 18 months. To register, visit here.
Caregivers who self-identify as both female and LGBTQ+ and are caring for an LGBTQ+ loved one living with cancer. To register, visit here.
The groups are in the midst of 15-week sessions that began June 1, but new members can join anytime through the second week of August. New sessions will start Oct. 1. The forums use a password-protected message-board for- mat and are led by master’s-prepared oncology social work- ers who offer support and guidance.
The groups are needed because LGBTQ+ people face a higher risk of cancer and a lower likelihood of having health insurance, said William Goeren, a licensed clinical social worker and direc- tor of clinical programs for CancerCare. Discrimination from health care providers, or the fear of it, may lead patients to delay or avoid medical care, he added.
“As a gay male cancer survivor, this is especially important to me, essential for the LGBT community and, I believe, necessary for society at large to see oncology services specific to the LGBT communities,” Goeren said.
To learn more about the services CancerCare offers to the LGBTQ+ community, visit cancercarelgbt.org or call 800-813- 4673 to speak to an oncology social worker.
CancerCare helps individuals, families, caregivers and the bereaved cope with the emotional and practical challenges of cancer. Its free services include counseling, educational work- shops, publications and financial assistance.