Cancer Support Group

Published by ADMIN on 29 January 2016

It is well known that cancer is a life threatening condition and to those affected by it, the experience of living through the illness is traumatic, daunting and demanding. The experience is not only to the patient, but also to the family of the patient. The purpose of the cancer support group is to provide assistance in understanding the illness, sharing of experiences and to provide support to those affected by the illness.

The Cancer Support Group although being Islamic based, caters for both the Muslim and Non-Muslim community in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The group was launched at the Mariam Bee Centre on the 20th of March 2010 and aims to empower its members with crucial information about the disease and illness. Patients are encouraged to develop a productive and positive outlook of life. Support and guidance from oncologists, physiotherapists, psychologists, dermatologists and other related professional is available to all patients, patients in remission, caregivers, volunteers and family members.

The primary goals of the cancer support group is to teach coping skills, offer comfort, emotional support, reduce anxiety and a platform for people to express their mutual situation and concerns. Emotional support is vital for every cancer patient as this process allows people to deal with their social problems and state of health in a positive manner. The cancer support group further focuses on both psychological treatments as well as the required medical care to cope with cancer.

Attendees are expected to participate in the group interaction and behavioural training where tips and information is shared. The support group discusses behavioural training which involves muscle relaxation that will consequently reduce stress to cope with the effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Interaction between members in the support group has proven to enhance the emotional strength of people. In addition, the aim of the support group is to reduce stress and fear and to further expand the quality of life for cancer patients.

The experts involved in the support group have the necessary training, skills and qualifications to carry out these difficult topics in their presentations. Experts are professionally trained enough to respect the boundaries concerning cancer and the patient diagnosed with cancer. The Al Ansaar Foundation manages such issues to protect the wellbeing of members and attendees.

The seminars have drawn positive responses of patients, caregivers, family members, volunteers and other interested attendees. Seminars include enlightening presentations by respected presenters that give an overview of the different types of cancer and different types of treatments available. Guest speakers and experts encourage patients to research and become more familiar with all types of cancer. This in turn is usually followed by an intense question-and-answer session.

Other activities run are the Pamper Day (mid-year), School Visits (Breast Cancer Awareness) and Year End Chai Day.

The Cancer Support Group aims:

To organise a mobile library,
Acquire a motor vehicle to transport patients for their treatments
Develop a quarterly magazine
A relief centre for the members of the cancer support group.
In keeping with the feedback received from the community, all future meetings and awareness programmes are now more interactive. More time is allocated for patients and caregivers to share their experiences, considerations, pointers and suggestions in relation to all types of cancer.

Topics that are generally covered by speakers include: diet, motivational talks, spiritual upliftment, and the role of and impact on families etc. Medical professionals will unpack these issues as well as oncologists and psychologists.

Currently, the Al-Ansaar Cancer Support Group holds meetings every second Saturday of every month at the Al Ansaar Hall, 189 West Road, Overport, Durban, South Africa. New members are most welcome to join.


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