Talking to family and friends


While friends and family may try to do everything they can to help, cancer patients often feel sad, alone or out of control. They sometimes have trouble talking to friends and family who have not had cancer and haven’t had the same experiences.

Many people who have been through cancer treatment say it helps to get a sense of connection with a support network. Support groups are usually free of charge and led by trained staff. Other patients prefer working one-on-one with someone who has special training and experience in counseling people with cancer.

Family and friends may also benefit from counseling or support groups.

Cancer counseling services at Penn Medicine offer support and information about concerns cancer patients may face as they undergo cancer treatment.

The Abramson Cancer Center offers psychological and spiritual counseling. For more information about counseling services at the Abramson Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-800-789-PENN or call directly 215-615-0534.

The Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital also offers multiple programs for stress reduction, including psychological counseling, stress and energy management, music therapy, guided imagery, art therapy and spiritual counseling. For more information about counseling services at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center or to make an appointment, call 1-800-789-PENN or call directly 215-829-6466.

The Penn Program for Mindfulness is an evidence-based program that teaches patients how to manage stress with tools taught by qualified instructors. The Penn Program for Mindfulness is available to patients at the Abramson Cancer Center and the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital.

Learn more about The Penn Program for Mindfulness.