Support Groups and Workshops

Females at support group

The Abramson Cancer Center offers a variety of cancer support groups and workshops for you and your family at several locations. Led by trained professionals, these groups offer emotional support, educational resources and a chance to meet others who may face similar issues.

Currently, some of our groups and workshops are being held virtually to support patients at home. Additionally, the staff are available for support through telemedicine visits.

Make sure to view the events calendar to confirm specific support group dates and times.

Adults Living with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer (Virtual)

Group is open to adults living with Oral, Head and Neck cancer at any stage of treatment or recovery. Family members welcome. Meet, connect and share with other Oral, Head and Neck cancer patients.

To register or learn more, please contact Courtney at Courtney.Bresler-Nowak@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or 215-605-5304.

Once registered, attendees will receive the meeting link.

  • Date/Time: First Thursday of each month (except August), 1 to 2:30 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Tracy Lautenbach-Hynes, MSW,LCSW, OSW-C and Courtney Bresler- Nowak, MSW, LSW

Art-Based Support Groups (Virtual)

Do you sometimes find that words are not enough to process your experiences? Are you looking for new or alternate ways to cope with stress during this time? Are you looking to find connection with others who have similar experiences? In these virtual support groups, participants will use traditional and non-traditional art materials commonly found at home to engage in creative processes for self-expression, relaxation, and relating to others. Previous art experience is not required. Materials needed for the group are minimal and will be shared when registering.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For additional information, please contact Angela Moore, Integrative Oncology and Special Needs Navigator at Angela.Moore2@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or call 215-662-4877.

  • Date/Time: Second and forth Thursday of every month from 2 to 3 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Groups will be facilitated by a registered art therapist

Bladder Cancer Support Group (Virtual)

The Bladder Cancer Discussion group welcomes all patients, families and friends affected by bladder cancer. The group is led by top experts in the field, with the support of an oncology nurse navigator and social worker. We look to encourage one another, share resources and provide support.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Courtney Bresler- Nowak, MSW, LSW at 215-605-5304.

  • Date/Time: Quarterly, please check the online calendar for dates and times
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led By: Sue Sweeney, MS, BSN, RN, CRN and Courtney Bresler- Nowak, MSW, LSW

Brain Tumor Support Group (Virtual)

This group provides an opportunity for brain tumor patients, caregivers, and families to support, share and educate each other.

To register, please call 215-615-5240 or 215-349-5426.

  • Date/Time: Second Wednesday of the month from 6 to 7:30 pm
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Arbena Merolli, MSW

Chemo Companion Program

Chemo companions are trained volunteer cancer survivors who offer in-person companionship, support, and conversation to patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine. Patients can be matched with a companion by asking the chemotherapy nurse to request a companion come to the infusion suite. The companions are available on a limited basis.

Talking with someone who has lived with cancer can often be comforting and can reduce the sense of anxiety and isolation. The Chemo Companion volunteers provide compassion, understanding, and practical advice to those who are diagnosed with cancer or facing new decisions about their cancer. For more information or if interested in volunteering, please call 215-615-0534.

Circle of Support for Brain Tumor Caregivers (Virtual)

A group for family and friends of those with a brain tumor for connection, understanding and resources in a supportive environment. This group is co-facilitated by neuro-oncology social workers in Neurosurgery, Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Amanda Kahler, MSW, LSW at 215-662-3997.

  • Date/Time: Fourth Wednesday of each month, 3 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Social workers

Esophagectomy Support Group (Virtual)

For patients and caregivers who have undergone an esophagectomy, this group was created by the nurses of the thoracic surgery department with the mission to be a source of information and support for patients and their families as they navigate the recovery process.

For more information or to register, please email ThoracicNursing@uphs.upenn.edu or call 215-662-3878.

  • Date/Time: This group meets quarterly. Next meeting date is TBA.
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Guest Speakers and nursing staff

Friends and Family (Caregiver) Support Group (Virtual)

This virtual group welcomes caregivers, family members and friends (age 18+) to join at any time. Oncology social workers will facilitate discussion, support and resources.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, contact Sandy Blackburn, LSW

  • Date/Time: First and third Monday of each month, 1 to 2 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Oncology social workers

LGBT Cancer Support Group (Virtual)

The LGBT Cancer support group offers a supportive, confidential space for any LGBT identifying patients with a cancer diagnosis. Offered monthly through a virtual platform, it is facilitated by an LGBT identified oncology social worker.

For more information and to register, please contact Kayla Hilliard, MSW, LSW at 215-662-8785 or email Kayla.Hilliard@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

  • Date/Time: Fourth Tuesday of each month, 6  to 7 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led By: Pegah Melaki, LSW

Life after an Allogeneic Bone Marrow Transplant (Virtual)

This is a virtual group for patients and caregivers of Abramson Cancer Center who have completed an allogeneic stem cell transplant. Meet with others who share your experience and can understand. This is a safe and supportive space to discuss insights and challenges about life after transplant.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information please contact Tiffany Raroha, LCSW at 215-360-0585.

  • Date/Time:
    Patients exclusively: First Wednesday of each month from 11 am to noon
    Patients and/or their caregivers: Third Wednesday of the month from 11 am to noon
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led By: Tiffany Raroha, LCSW

Living with Breast Cancer (Virtual)

This virtual group is open to all individuals with a breast cancer diagnosis and will serve as a supportive gathering space for patients to share their experiences and connect with others navigating life with breast cancer. This group will be led by oncology social workers and will serve to provide practical support, resources, and encouragement for coping with diagnosis and treatment.

For more information or to register, please contact Ashley Adams, LCSW at Ashley.Adams@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or 215-360-0576.

  • Date/Time: Second Tuesday of each month, noon to 1 pm
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Ashley Adams, LCSW

Look Good, Feel Better (Virtual)

Live, interactive video chat allows a licensed beauty professional to guide a group of participants through skin care and cosmetic application and how to manage hair loss, including use of wigs, hats and scarf tying.

Visit https://lookgoodfeelbetter.org/alliance-partner-virtual-workshops/ to learn more and to register.

Free to Penn patients.

Men’s Cancer Support Group (Virtual)

This is a group for men with cancer; a safe space for men to congregate and provide and receive support. Topics range from relationship issues, coping with disease and symptoms, intimacy concerns, work/life balance and more. Free parking and refreshments provided.

To register, please email Craig.Heiler@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or call 215-662-8785.

  • Date/Time: Fourth Thursday of each month, 11 am to 12:30 pm
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Craig Heiler

Mesothelioma Support Group (Virtual)

This support group offers a positive space for patients with a Mesothelioma diagnosis. Meeting via a secure telecommunication platform, this group is a safe space for patients to congregate and provide and receive support. Topics range from family and relationships issues, coping with the disease and symptoms, resources, work/life balance, and more.

  • Date/Time: Second Thursday of every month, 11 am
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led By: Kayla Hilliard, LSW

Music-Based Support Groups (Virtual)

Have you ever noticed how music can just make you feel better? How are you already using music to cope? How can music be utilized to promote well-being in mind and body? In this virtual support group, participants will engage in music experiences that may sound like guided relaxation to music, making music through facilitated song-writing, or sharing and listening to meaningful songs to craft an intentional playlist. We will explore shared emotions and experiences along the way. No musical experience is required.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

To register for any of the groups, please contact Angela Moore, Integrative Oncology and Special Needs Navigator at Angela.Moore2@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or call 215-662-4877.

  • Dates/Times: First and third Thursday of every month, 2 to 3 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Groups will be facilitated by a board-certified music therapist

Neuroendocrine Support Group (Virtual)

This is a virtual group open to any person that has been diagnosed with a Neuroendocrine Tumor and their adult caregivers. This group generally runs two hours, offering a 1-hour educational presentation followed by a 1-hour networking session. Education topics are chosen by the group participants and members of the Neuroendocrine Multidisciplinary Care Team provide the educational presentation, followed by a brief Q&A session. The networking session is led by an oncology social worker and participants are free to share their experiences with others. Other leaders of the group are an oncology dietitian and nurse navigator who are available to provide support from their areas of expertise.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information please contact Diann Boyd BSN, RN, OCN at 215-614-1863.

  • Date/Time: Fourth Thursday of every month, 1 to 3 pm.
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Diann Boyd BSN, RN, OCN

Newly Diagnosed Patient Support Group (Virtual)

This virtual group will offer patients who are within six months of diagnosis a safe, supportive space to connect and share on the changes and adjustments they are experiencing related to diagnosis and treatment. The group will be led by oncology social workers to provide emotional and practical support.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Tiffany Raroha, LCSW at 267-496-2480.

  • Date/Time: Fourth Thursday of every month, 11 am to noon
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Oncology social workers

Physical Activity Group for Breast Cancer Survivors (Virtual)

This group meets monthly to help motivate and inspire breast cancer survivors to move. This group meets monthly on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 pm, offering space to support participants to become more active by setting realistic and achievable physical activity goals.

A medical waiver will be required for this group

For more information and to register, contact Doris Piccinin MS, RD, CDE, LDN at Doris.Piccinin@pennmedicine.upenn.edu or 215-360-0581.

  • Date/Time: Fourth Monday of the month at 7 pm
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led By: Doris Piccinin MS, RD, CDE, LDN

Prostate Cancer Support Group (Virtual)

This support group is open to all patients and their caregivers. All aspects of prostate cancer, both pre and post treatment, are discussed.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Neal Niznan, MSW, LCSW at 215-349-8183.

  • Date/Time: Third Thursday of every month, 4:30 to 6 pm
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Neal Niznan, MSW, LCSW

Reiki Circle (Virtual)

Are you Reiki Curious?

You have maybe heard about Reiki but aren’t sure what it is?

During the Reiki circle I will provide a sacred, safe space. All you need to bring is an openness to just be and an openness to receive Reiki. We will talk a bit about what Reiki is, where it comes from, how when it is used as an integrative modality it can contribute to your wellbeing. Take some time out of your day to come home to yourself, to reset, to feel nourished, balanced, clear minded and calm.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Danica Arizola at Danica.Arizola@pennmedicine.upenn.edu.

  • Date/Time: Third and fourth Tuesdays of each month, 1 pm
  • Location: Virtual
  • Led by: Danica Arizola

What's the Meaning of This? (Virtual)

We invite those diagnosed with advanced cancer (metastatic cancer, recurrence or disease progression), to a supportive group focused on meaning.

Have you wondered, “How can I find meaning in this?” The need to find meaning is a defining human characteristic. We use Meaning-Centered psychotherapy to explore the concept and sources of meaning for each individual, through reflective exercises and open discussion. Sessions to run 6 weeks.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Megan Melick, MSW at 215-459-4728.

  • Date/Time: Varies, please visit online calendar
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Oncology social workers

Women Only (Virtual)

This virtual group is "for women only." It will offer women patients with any diagnosis of cancer a safe, supportive space to connect and share the experience of having cancer. We will also be able to talk about treatment, side effects, and the effects on children, family, and friends. We will talk about how cancer affects important relationships in your life. This group will be led by oncology social workers to provide emotional and practical support and guidance.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Courtney Bresler-Nowak, LSW at 215-605-5304.

  • Date/Time: First Monday of each month, 11 am
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Oncology social workers

Young Adults with Advanced Cancer Support Group (Virtual)

Finding out you have cancer at a young age is hard. You are not alone. Please join our young adults with cancer networking virtual group to meet other young adults, ages 18 to 45 who are coping with advanced-stage cancer. The group is led by oncology social workers and provides a safe space to network with others, to exchange support, and to learn practical information and helpful resources.

To register, please visit the online calendar at PennMedicine.org/CancerSupportGroups.

For more information, please contact Courtney Bresler-Nowak, LSW at 215-605-5304.

  • Date/Time: Second Tuesday of each month, 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • Location: BlueJeans (virtual)
  • Led by: Courtney Bresler-Nowak, LSW and Megan Melick, MSW