Who uses Cancer Support Community?

Adults and children with cancer and their loved-ones who want to enhance the quality of their life and learn how to better meet the challenges of this illness. People come to learn more about their disease and end up finding friendship, caring and hope in a supportive community with other cancer community members.

What does it cost to participate?

Absolutely Nothing! The Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach is a nonprofit organization, and does not charge for any of its services. It is supported by tax-deductible contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations, service organizations and fundraising events. Programs are offered free of charge in our home-like setting.

We have been able to offer free programs of cancer support, education and hope through the generous support of individuals, corporation grants & foundations and through year-round special fundraising events. We don’t receive any financial support from federal or state government funding, insurance or any national cancer organizations such as Leukemia-Lymphoma Society or The American Cancer Society.

Are there other Cancer Support Communities?

The Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach is part of an affiliate international organization, consisting of more than 24 Cancer Support Communities and 22 Gilda’s Clubs. In 1982, the original Wellness Community opened in Santa Monica, California. Redondo Beach became the 2nd Community with more to follow. Gilda’s Clubs began in 1995 from Gilda Radner’s experience as a ovarian cancer survivor at the Santa Monica Wellness Community.

In 2009, Gilda’s Clubs and The Wellness Community joined together to become the Cancer Support Community, the largest community-based organization focused on advancing the recommendations of the IOM report. This report recommended the inclusion of psycho-social support be integrated into the treatment of anyone diagnosed with cancer.

The reports also noted how cancer affects the whole family. There are two IOM reports, follow these links for the patient and for the provider reports. The combined organization is comprised worldwide of nearly 50 local affiliates, 12 affiliates in development and over 100 off-site and satellite locations.

All offer a uniform program following a national quality standard, which is considered to be the gold standard of psychosocial support. However, each Community is financially independent and operates as an independent 501(c) 3 with its own Board of Directors. Our national office is in Washington, D.C. Phone toll free (888) 793-WELL. Click here to find other Cancer Support Communities.

Is there research to support what you do?

All the programs at The Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach derive from evidence-based psychosocial oncology and mind-body research which shows that how you think and feel can have an effect on the immune system. You can click here for a Power Point presentation of “Evidence-based Research” by Mitch Golant, National Vice President, for Research & Development.

Early reports from a Stanford study conducted by Dr. David Spiegel, involving women with advanced breast cancer, and a UCLA study of melanoma patients by Drs. Fawzy & Fawzy both suggest that members of support groups have an improved quality of life and a significantly better survival rate. “Support groups can clearly improve the quality of life. We were able to show reduced mood disturbance. Patients were less phobic, had better coping responses and reduced pain. In a psychological sense, groups work,” Dr. Spiegel in Lancet.

In October 2008, Barbara Anderson, PhD, and other researchers at The Ohio State University have published Psychological Intervention Improves Survival for Breast Cancer Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial with exciting results linking long-term survivorship to participation in group support. For a copy of the research, click here.

Are medical services or advice available at Cancer Support Community?

The Cancer Support Community Redondo Beach does not have a medical staff and we do not offer medical services, advice or referrals. However, we provide regular educational forums, workshops and lectures with cancer experts and other health care professionals. Individuals seek their own treatment and learn about resources from networking with one another.

Are Cancer Support Community programs an alternative to medical treatment?

No. The program is an adjunct to the treatment prescribed by a patient’s healthcare team and is not a substitute for medical care. No one is turned away from our services, whether they are receiving treatment or not.

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