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Retreats for People Affected by Cancer

Cancer is a difficult diagnosis to deal with, whether it's you or a loved one facing the condition. You may find yourself battling both the emotional stress and strain of coping with cancer and the physical challenges of the illness and its treatment.

From time to time, it can be helpful to gather with other people who are going through a similar experience. Various camps, retreats, or getaways are available for children, adults, or families affected by cancer. Your healthcare team may be able to recommend a program. You can also find information on specific camps and retreats at the American Society of Clinical Oncology website or through the American Cancer Society. Some camps and retreats offer medical care. But always talk to your healthcare team first before considering a camp or retreat.

Finding support and relaxation at home

Some people may not be able to travel or attend a retreat. But it's still critical to find support. Consider connecting with other people affected by cancer by attending a local or online support group. Ask your healthcare team for a recommendation. Or visit the Cancer Survivors Network (CSN). It provides support groups and survivor programs for people looking for help, encouragement, and friendship from their peers. You can find more information and specific programs in your region at the CSN website.

Also consider trying a relaxation strategy recommended by the American Cancer Society, such as:

  • Muscle tension and release

  • Rhythmic breathing

  • Biofeedback

  • Mental imagery

  • Visualization

  • Hypnosis

  • Distraction, such as having a favorite hobby or just watching TV

All of these relaxation methods can help take your mind off the stress of cancer, at least for a little while.