Comprehensive Cancer Support Groups & Programs
Support groups give you, your caregivers and others a chance to bond with those going through a similar cancer journey. Below is a list of cancer support groups and programs.
CANCER EDUCATION & SUPPORT GROUP
Join our Cancer Education and Support Group, which meets every third Thursday of the month, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Cancer Center Conference Room (7420 W. Central Ave., Building C, River Forest, IL). A short presentation is given at the beginning of the session and a discussion follows. Free of charge and refreshments are offered.
WE’RE MOVIN’ ON
This support group meets on the first Tuesday of the month from 2-3:30 p.m. in the Community Room (7411 Lake St Building A, River Forest IL). All women who have been affected by breast cancer are welcome to gather and lend support to one another and share experiences.
CANCER RELATED CONCENTRATION AND MEMORY LOSS (CHEMO BRAIN)
An Occupational Therapist will help you manage your symptoms of possible memory loss. Studies show that many patients do not tell their cancer care team about these symptoms until it affects their safety and everyday life. Our goal is your safety and well-being during and after your cancer treatment. Download the flyer to learn more.
Lymphedema is swelling that occurs in one or both of your arms or legs, most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes often associated with the treatment of cancer. Prevention of lymphedema is better than a cure. Therapy is recommended for patients post-operatively and post-radiotherapy. Download the flyer to learn more.
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
Learn about making treatment decisions, coping with side effects, handling financial matters, caregiving, and living well after cancer. The American Cancer Society also has programs and services to help you manage cancer treatment and recovery and find the emotional support you need. And best of all, their help is free. Click here to learn more.
LOOK GOOD, FEEL BETTER
This free program, developed by the American Cancer Society, teaches beauty techniques to female cancer patients undergoing treatment to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.
This “in-person” program is currently suspended but we are offering patients an online link where they can obtain the kits and learn how to do their makeup virtually.
REACH TO RECOVERY
This American Cancer Society program links recently diagnosed women with breast cancer survivors, who either call or visit the women they have been matched with and provide resources, support and suggested post-surgical exercises.
West Suburban Medical Center is excited to partner with the American Cancer Society to offer a Wig Boutique in the Community Center on the first floor of Building A on the River Forest Medical Campus. Because of this partnership, if you’re suffering from hair loss associated with cancer treatment, you have access to new, free wigs and accessories at one convenient location. The boutique is currently available by appointment only by calling (800) 227-2345. This “in-person” program has been suspended indefinitely due to COVID, but patients are provided with a voucher and they can order a wig virtually.
GILDA’S CLUB OF CHICAGO
Free cancer support for the whole family, the whole time. Join Gilda’s Club of Chicago to access all the benefits of the growing and caring community, including programs that will help you learn to live with cancer. It’s easy to join, and it’s free. Click here to learn more.
A Community Where All People Affected by Cancer Thrive. Cancer can feel overwhelming, for patients and their families. It can be confusing and frightening. Fortunately, when it comes to living with cancer, you have Wellness House.
A SILVER LINING FOUNDATION
Founded in 2002 by Dr. Sandy Goldberg the mission of A Silver Lining Foundation a 501(c3) is to ensure dignified, respectful and equal access to quality cancer education and services for all, by creating meaningful partnerships with community, advocacy and healthcare organizations. A Silver Lining Foundation’s Vision is to ensure that socioeconomic status does not affect an individual’s ability to obtain information, timely cancer screening and diagnosis. The River Forest Breast Center partners with ASLF’s Buy A Mom A Mammogram program to cover breast testing for any woman or man who is un-insured and under-insured. If you need a mammogram but can’t afford it, call ASLF Toll Free at 1-877-924-1126.
CANCER PLUS CAREERS
Be The Boss Over Cancer. Cancer and Careers empowers and educates people with cancer to thrive in their workplace, by providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events.
HEARTWOOD WOMEN AND CANCER FOUNDATION
The Heartwood Women and Cancer Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization providing direct care services to lower income women over the age of 18 living in the greater Chicago-land area and have had a cancer diagnosis. The program provides:
- 6 free acupuncture, massage or psychotherapy sessions
- 12 free classes – choice of yoga, tai chi, meditation, or dance
- Speaker’s bureau to provide educational programs to local organizations
- Clinics and classrooms in: Beverly, Evanston, Forest Park, Hyde Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Logan Square, Oak Park, Pilsen, Rogers Park, West Town
ILLINOIS BREAST CANCER AND CERVICAL PROGRAM, (IBCCP)
The Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers free mammograms, breast exams, pelvic exams and Pap tests to eligible women. Even if a woman has already been diagnosed with cancer, she may receive free treatment if she qualifies. The program has been providing breast and cervical cancer screenings to the women of Illinois since 1995.
Cancer fighters, survivors or caregivers can find 1–on–1 support here. Through their unique matching process, Imerman Angels partners individuals seeking cancer support with a “Mentor Angel”.
LIVESTRONG AT YOUR LOCAL YMCA
Since 2007, Lilly Oncology has partnered with the YMCA of the USA to promote the importance of physical activity after a cancer diagnosis. Available in more than 400 locations, this 12-week program, offered at little to no cost, is designed to help survivors improve their strength and quality of life. Click here to learn more.
We Bring Hope. Many people with cancer find themselves in hopeless situations in hospital rooms and homes across the country. Phil’s Friends brings hope through the distribution of Their hand assembled Care Packages to cancer patients and their families, consistent weekly support through Cards of Hope and prayer.
CANCER DIET AND NUTRITION RESOURCES
Proper diet is crucial to patients living with cancer. Here are some resources to learn more about good nutrition: