CancerCare Online Support Groups
May 29, 2023, 02:56:30 pm*
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Welcome to CancerCare’s Online Support Groups. For your reference, we’ve compiled a number of Frequently Asked Questions about CancerCare services and how the online groups program operates. We’ve organized key information into the following topic areas to assist you in navigating the online forums.

Click here to download a full User Manual. 



User Preferences and Settings:

Posting a Message or Topic:

CancerCare Staff behind the boards:



What is CancerCare?
CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer. Whatever your individual cancer situation is, we have a service that can help.
How can CancerCare help me?
Because we know that cancer affects far more than your body, we help you in those areas of your life beyond medical treatment. CancerCare is like a professional cancer assistant, answering your questions, finding you help, or just listening when you need an understanding ear. For more information about CancerCare’s services, please visit our website at:
What if I need to talk to someone immediately?
CancerCare is not able to handle requests for immediate help in crisis situations, such as if you are feeling suicidal or in need of immediate assistance due to emotional crisis. If you are feeling like you are in crisis and want immediate attention please call the following organizations, they can help you.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255),
The National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433),


Why can’t I log in?
Only registered members of CancerCare’s Online Community can log in. Once you have registered, and activated your account, you will have the ability to log in. All of our groups are private and subscription based; you will not be able to access groups immediately after registration. Before you are approved for a group you will only have the ability to browse our public spaces. If you are a new member and would like to register, click here.
If you have already registered but are having trouble logging in because you need assistance with your username or password, you can write to our Online Administrator at They will help determine the login issue, and/or retrieve your username and password.
For more information, please contact the Online Administrator at
Why do I need to register?
CancerCare's Online Community is a private, “subscription only” program; you will not be able to participate in a support group until your registration has been reviewed and approved by a CancerCare Social Worker.
Why do you ask for such detailed information?
In order for your Primary Social Worker to fully assess and understand your needs, we need to collect thorough information about you and your current situation. If an online support group is not the best option to suit your current needs, we also offer telephone and face-to-face counseling. This counseling can be done individually or in a support group.
I've lost my username/password! Where can I find it?
It’s ok. While your password cannot be retrieved it can be reset. If you are having trouble logging in because you need assistance with your username or password, you can write to our Online Administrators at They will set a new password for you.
As an alternative, you can create a new password yourself. Go to the Log In screen and click the link Forgot Your Password?. Fill in your username or email. An email will be sent to your account with an activation/new password link. You will need to click the link within the email. This link will bring you to a page where you can create and verify a brand new password.
I registered; why can’t I see the group I requested?
First, make sure that you are logged in to CancerCare's Online Community. You can log in by clicking the Log In link at the top right of the screen and entering your username and password. If you are logged in and cannot see the group you requested, then you may not have been approved for the group yet. All CancerCare clients are assigned a Primary Social Worker; this person must first review your registration information and make sure that this is the best group to meet your needs.
To maximize the experience of being in a support group, all groups require at least a minimum number of approved participants to open. You may, therefore, remain on the waiting list until there are enough approved participants to open the group.
If you have any questions about this process, or how far your application/registration is in process, please feel free to write our Online Administrators at
How do I join a group?
If you did not request a group during registration or you are requesting a new group, click the Support Groups link at the top of the screen. In the Available Groups’ dropdown list it will show you all the groups that you are not currently a member of. When you find one that sounds appropriate for your needs, select it from the dropdown list by clicking it once. With it showing in the box, click the View Information button. Read the description of the group; if it still sounds appropriate for your needs, click the Request to Join link.
Your request will be reviewed by your Primary Social Worker and the Group Moderator before you are admitted to the group.
How many groups can I join?
Currently, we only allow members to belong to one Patient, Caregiver, or Bereaved group at a time.
At certain times, we will offer “Group Tutorials” or workshops that are centered on a specific theme or topic. If you are already a member of a Patient, Caregiver, or Bereaved group you may be granted admission to a “topic-based” group as well.
When do the groups “meet”?
Due to the nature of a bulletin board, you can think of the groups as meeting all day everyday (24/7). This means you can sign in to your group to read and reply to messages at *any* time that is convenient for you.
*Please keep in mind* this also means that there may or may not be anyone else signed in to your group at a given time; this includes the moderators who cannot be active in the groups 24 hrs a day.

User Preferences and Settings

How do I change my information or my settings?
All your settings are stored in our database. To alter them, log in to CancerCare’s Online Community and then click the Your Profile link shown at the top left of all pages. You can then click on the buttons in the Modify Profile box on the left side of the screen to change all your settings. When you are done, click Change Profile to save them.
Can I turn off the default setting which automatically alerts me via email of new posts?
In order to protect your information and maintain strict confidentiality, we cannot allow posts and messages to be sent to external email accounts. The program, however, as a default, will automatically send you emails alerting when there are new posts in topics you started or in topics you have posted in. To read the new post, you can click the link within the message and log in to the program.
To turn off the default setting of automatic alert of new posts, click the Your Profile link at the top of the screen and the Notifications and Email button in the Modify Profile box. When you are done, click Save Settings to save the change. You can change this setting at any time from within the Your Profile screen or, on a topic-by-topic basis by clicking the Notify button at the top of a topic, or on a case-by-case basis at the bottom of any post.
How do I add an Avatar to my profile?
Under Profile in the blue menu bar, go to the Modify Profile tab and select Forum Profile from the dropdown menu that appears. Under Personalized Picture, choose an avatar from our system gallery, from the internet or from your own computer. When you have selected the image you want as your avatar, click Open followed by Change profile.

Posting a Message or Topic

How do I post a new topic in a forum?
Easy – from inside the group, click the New Topic button. This button will be to the left of the screen and will appear above and below the list of topics/folders in your group. Be sure to enter a subject for the topic, then type the text of you message. Once you are satisfied with its content, press Post.
How do I reply to a message?
After reading a post you want to reply to, look at the very top and very bottom of the list of messages. The Reply button will be to the left of the screen and will appear above and below the list of topics/folders in your group. Click the Reply button. Be sure to enter a subject for the topic, then type the text of your message. Once you are satisfied with its content, press Post.
How do I edit or delete my post or topic?
After you have submitted your post or topic you cannot reopen it to edit its contents. Only your group moderator or an Online Administrator can edit or delete posts or topics from a group space. If you would like to edit or remove a message, please feel free to write our Online Administrators at
Is there a Spell Check?
Yes! There is a spell checking option in our system. If you want to check your spelling after composing your message directly in the forum's text input box, you can do so by clicking the Spell Check button below the text box.
What are Smileys?
Smileys, or Emoticons, are small graphical images (like a smiley face) which can be used to express some feeling using a short code, e.g. :-) means happy, :-( means sad. The full list of emoticons can be seen when you are writing a post (they are listed at the top of the message box – click once on an emoticon to insert it into your message). Try not to overuse smileys, though, as they can quickly render a post unreadable.
What are Locked topics?
Locked topics are set this way by either the group moderator or board administrator. You cannot reply to locked topics. Topics may be locked for a variety of reasons, if you have any questions as to why a particular topic has been locked, please contact your group moderator.
How do I post a picture or attachment?
From inside a post reply, click the Browse or Choose File button to select a picture or text file from your computer. When you find the file you would like attach, click Open followed by Post.
Is there a limit to the size or number of attachments I can post?
Yes, our forum is designed so that you can attach only one picture or text document per post. There is a maximum size of 128kb per text file attachment and 2mb per picture attachment. We hope that these restrictions will help keep the focus of our groups on group discussion while still allowing you to connect with other group members in creative ways.

CancerCare Staff behind the boards

What are Online Administrators?
What are Online Administrators?
Online Administrators are members of the CancerCare staff who have the highest level of control over the entire board. These people can regulate all facets of board operation which include setting permissions, creating and removing groups, and banning users.
What are Moderators?
Moderators are professional oncology Social Workers here at CancerCare who manage online support groups. They guide group dialogue, offer topics for focused discussion, provide educational and resource materials, and remove postings of abusive or offensive material.