Colorectal Cancer

Bowel cancer support groups and organisations

Local groups and national or regional organisations offering information and support can be of great help to people with cancer, as well as to their friends and families. However, finding the right source of information and support can sometimes be difficult.

Relatively few of the people we talked to had contacted any of the national organisations offering support for bowel (colorectal) cancer patients. Some said that this was because they did not know of the organisations or where to find them. A few people had made contact and received information which they found helpful. One woman had been assisted in her campaign for the right to receive a particular chemotherapy drug, and several had become volunteers after receiving assistance themselves. Others couldn't remember their dealings with the organisation they contacted. Two people felt they were given inadequate advice which had added to their distress at the time.

Several people belonged to or had been helped by national organisations for people with colostomies or ileostomies and rated them very highly. They emphasised the usefulness of meeting other people with stomas who could pass on advice and reassurance.

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Stephen created his own website called Stephen’s Story to talk about his cancer experiences and spread his motivation and positivity for living life to the full.

Several people had attended or planned to attend a local cancer support group but were put off because they had little in common with the other people there. Sometimes this was because of a difference of age or social background. Often it was because people were seeking support for problems specific to bowel (colorectal) cancer patients. Several people voiced an urgent need for such groups to be established and a few had considered setting one up themselves. One woman explains why she wished a support group had been available in her area.

A number of people had become regular members of a local support group and found it very beneficial. A woman who regularly attends a cancer support group in East London said it gave her a sense of community as well as support and provided opportunities to socialise and enjoy planned activities. Four people who attend a bowel cancer support group in the West Midlands, emphasised the range of benefits it offered including a well-stocked library, regular visits from colorectal nurse specialists, recreational outings and a warm and cheerful social atmosphere. Two people had benefited from a counselling service available at a North London cancer support facility.

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Details of support organisations for people with bowel (colorectal) cancer appear in the 'Resources' section of this website.

Last reviewed August 2016.

Last updated August 2016.

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