News in Gastric Cancer

News from around the world, curated by the Gastric Cancer Foundation.

Mental Health Awareness Month: Community Support is Good Medicine

Being diagnosed with gastric cancer is overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Managing the symptoms and treatments is consuming, and mental health often takes a backseat.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone. Feeling isolated is a common experience for those facing gastric cancer, and isolation can exacerbate feelings of anxiety, depression, and distress.

To address the need for easy access to community support, the Gastric Cancer Foundation partnered with an organization called Smart Patients to cultivate a safe and secure online community for patients and caregivers. Through this collaboration, individuals impacted by gastric cancer can connect with others facing similar challenges.

Kathryn Burn, Smart Patients CEO, believes that joining this online community can be instrumental in alleviating the mental burden on gastric cancer patients. “When patients find our online gastric cancer community, they quickly realize they are not alone,” she says. “They connect with others who are facing similar struggles, share their experiences and coping strategies, and empower each other.”

Research has shown that social support can play a vital role in coping with illness, improving emotional well-being, and enhancing quality of life for cancer patients. Connecting with a supportive community can provide much-needed comfort and understanding during such challenging times.

“Members receive reassurance and practical advice from others who have faced similar situations,” says Burn. By sharing their personal experiences, members help dispel each other’s fears and gain a sense of control over their own health journey.

The online community fosters a sense of belonging among its diverse members. In this inclusive environment, members find common ground and encouragement.

“Our platform facilitates respectful and supportive interactions among individuals from various backgrounds,” Burn reflects. “Our community is thoughtfully moderated, with the goal of cultivating a culture that fosters considerate, appreciative peer-to-peer interaction.”

As we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, we are reminded that nurturing your mental health is as vital as any treatment.