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Cancer Services Patient and Family Support Groups and Classes

COVID-19 update: Our classes and support groups have transitioned to Zoom videoconferencing. Please register using the links below to receive more information about how to participate via Zoom.

cancer patient

Our support groups and classes can help address the emotional, social, physical and spiritual issues that may affect your well-being before, during and after cancer treatment. Although you may find it difficult to talk about your feelings and experiences, addressing them can improve your treatment success.  We offer a range of activities and opportunities to address your unique preferences and needs.

All events are free and open to the community. Most classes provide general information and support, although some may have information specifically related to services provided by UC San Diego Health.

More about our programs: 

If you have questions, please email us at for information. We are here to help you on your cancer journey.

View monthly calendar

Support Groups

We offer free cancer support groups of many kinds. Click the links for dates, then choose a date for more info and registration details.

Brain Tumor Support Group

Meet other brain tumor patients, as well as family members and caregivers, to gain emotional support and education. 

Contact: Connie Reeves Campbell at

Dates and times:

Breast Cancer Support Groups

Event series include Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Series, Sunset Connections: Young Breast Cancer Support Group, and Stage IV Breast Cancer Support Group.


  • Early Stage Young Breast Cancer Survivorship Series and Sunset Connections Support Group: Cecilia Kasperick, RN, at or 858-249-3114 
  • Stage 4 Breast Cancer Support Group: Laurie Knight, BS, MSW, LCSW at or 858-249-3116

Dates and times:

Cancer Caregiver Education and Support Group

Meet other caregivers, receive emotional support, and learn information relevant to the needs of caregivers.

Contact: Helen Tighe-Snyder at or 858-245-9055

Dates and times:

Cervix Cancer Support Group

This monthly support group provides a space to connect with others during and following a cervical cancer diagnosis. Patients currently in treatment and survivors of any gynecological cancers are welcome to attend. The group will discuss a variety of topics, including social support after a diagnosis, sexual changes after radiation, diet and nutrition, survivorship, fear after treatment completion, and tips for exercise and mental health. We hope you’ll join us!

Contact: Yuko Abbott, DSW, LCSW, OSW-C, at or 858-246-1536

Dates and times:

Grupo Esperanza (Support Group for Spanish Speakers)

Ofrecemos información sobre recursos en la comunidad, así como la experiencia de otras personas que han sido diagnosticadas con cáncer.

Las reuniones se llevan a cabo el segundo miércoles del mes, de 10 a 12.

El grupo es en español y facilitado por la Doctora Sara Fainstein, sobreviviente de cáncer de mama.

Para mayores informes llame al 619-890-9730 o mande un correo electrónico a

Head and Neck Cancer Support Group

Meet patients facing head and neck cancer to gain emotional support and education.

Contact: Liza Blumenfeld, SLP, at

Dates and times:

Kids Affected by Caregiver’s Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Support group for kids and teens affected by a parent or caregiver’s cancer diagnosis. Group is split into two age groups, 4-10 and 11-17. Participants are given the opportunity to meet and connect with other kids and teens through meaningful discussions as well as art activities designed to promote coping and self-expression.

At this time, since we have moved classes from in-person to virtual due to COVID-19, this class will only be offered to kids ages 5-12. We will offer the wider age range as soon as groups are able to resume in-person again.

Dates and times:

Larynegectomy Support Group

A support group for patients who will have or who have already undergone a total laryngectomy (full removal of the voice box) and their caregivers. This long-running group gives patients a safe space to ask questions, practice using their new "voice," and to see others living a full life post-operatively. Most meetings include a guest speaker for a relative topic, informal discussion, fellowship, and refreshments.

Contact: Kristen Linnemeyer, MA, CCC-SLP, at

Dates and times:

Sickle Cell Transition Focus Group

This group is open to patients, ages 18 to 40, interested in meeting others with sickle cell disease, learning more about the disease and discussing ways we can improve the care of people with sickle cell. Different topics and events to be discussed. We hope you'll join us!

Contact: Stefanie Sacknoff at

Dates and times:

Together Against Cancer Couples Workshop

Together Against Cancer is a workshop for cancer patients, spouses and partners. The workshop is based on both the positive research results of Emotionally Focused Therapy and the book, Hold Me Tight®. Presentations, videos, discussion and couples' exercises help you navigate your relationship with confidence. In this workshop, you and your partner will explore the impact of cancer on your relationship and begin to address issues that have been difficult to discuss. You both will learn the benefits of a secure and connected relationship.

Date and time:

This is a 16 hour course over 2 weekends:
April 24-25, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
May 1-2, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Register online to receive an email with the Zoom link.

Young Adult Cancer Support Groups

Open to patients ages 18 to 35 with all cancer diagnoses.


  • Young Adult Cancer Support Group: Stefanie Sacknoff at
  • Early Stage Young Breast Cancer Sunset Connections Support Group: Cecilia Kasperick, RN, at or 858-249-3114

Dates and times:

Mind and Body Wellness Classes

These classes and services are adapted as needed for cancer patients and are open to the community. Click the links for dates, then choose a date for more info and registration details.

Exercise Class for Patients and Caregivers

EPARC Zoom-Based Exercise Class for Patients and Caregivers:

  • Five-week class cycle, running Saturday April 10 through Saturday, May 8, 9-10 a.m.
  • Classes build off of each other, focusing on strength exercises, with some aerobic and stretching movement included as well
  • All classes are led in a private and secure Zoom session, and printable take-home sheets will be provided detailing the exercises taught

Contact: David Wing at or 858-534-9315

Dates and times:

Expressive Arts Workshop

These workshops help patients tell their stories through different types of art. They are designed to assess, support and strengthen resilience and improve quality of life in oncology patients and caregivers. Each type of art is usually presented through a series of six to eight weekly workshops. We encourage you to participate in all sessions within a particular series.

Contact: Alessandra Colfi, PhD, RYT-200, ZIN®, at or 858-735-5708

Dates and times:

Gentle Zumba

Gentle dance fitness class for cancer recovery and prevention. Playful, easy, good-for-body-mind-spirit class for patients, caregivers, adapted to each participant's abilities and limitations.

Contact: Alessandra Colfi, PhD, RYT-200, ZIN®, at; 858-735-5708

Dates and times:


Powerful way to reconnect with our inner selves. It brings about a natural integration of body, mind and spirit. Open to patients, family members and caregivers.

Contacts: Christina Jones, HHP, CMT, RYT, and Ravi Halker at or 619-246-6339

Dates and times:

Relaxation Techniques

Meditation, Mindfulness, and Deep Breathing.

This weekly series of guided relaxation methods will focus on the mind-body-heart connection for optimal wellness. We will introduce various methods of deep breathing, present moment awareness, techniques of mindfulness, and meditation practices. This class will serve as both an introduction to those new to these techniques, as well as an opportunity to deepen awareness for practitioners. A typical session will consist of deep breathing, self-reflection in stillness, and a technique of guided meditation.

The class is led by Jyoti Mayadev, MD. Dr. Mayadev is an associate professor of radiation oncology at UCSD Health's Moores Cancer Center, with a research and clinical focus on gynecology oncology. Dr. Mayadev is certified in transcendental meditation technique, and over the past few decades, she has trained in and taught various forms of breathing, yoga movement, meditation, and mindfulness to enhance health and wellness.

Dates and times:

Tai Chi

Gentle, moving mediation, calms the mind, strengthens the body and energizes the spirit.

Contact: Dan Halpain, Holistic Health Practitioner and Certified Asian Bodywork Therapist, at

Dates and times:

Moving More for Health & Well-Being

Achieving benefits from physical activity does not require hours at the gym. Join us to learn about how to correctly and safely incorporate physical activity into your life to improve your health and well-being. This class is open to cancer survivors, caregivers, family members of cancer patients, and community members. 

Contact: Vera Ross MPH, CPT, BA, at

Dates and times:

Writing Through Cancer

Writing can be a beautiful tool to process the emotions related to having a cancer diagnosis. Come join us for a group environment writing class. Please attend all classes in the eight-week workshop for group dynamics.

Contact: Tracy Aronlee, LCSW, CCLS, at

Yoga for Cancer Recovery

Yoga and mindfulness practices tailored to meet the needs of cancer patients in all stages of treatment and beyond. Classes focus on using the breath to create peace and harmony in the body will safely and mindfully improving strength, balance and flexibility.

Contact: Mary Baker, Be Well Therapy, at

Treatment Education Classes

Informative classes for patients who are preparing for various types of cancer treatments. Click the links for dates, then choose a date for more info and registration details.

Allogeneic BMT Patient and Caregiver Class

Educational class for BMT patients and their caregivers who are preparing for an allogeneic stem cell transplant. Class topics include stem cell collection, hospital transplant and recovery process, and after-transplant care needs. No registration required.

Contact: Jennifer Shackleton, MSW, LCSW, at or 858-822-6600

Dates and times:

Autologous BMT Patient and Caregiver Class

Educational class for BMT patients and their caregivers who are preparing for an autologous stem cell transplant. Class topics include stem cell collection, hospital transplant and recovery process, and after-transplant care needs. No registration required.

Contact: Heather Elliott Pham, MSW, at or 858-822-6600

Dates and times:

Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Education Class

Learn about what to expect with chemo and immunotherapy. Recommended for all patients receiving chemotherapy. Family and caregivers welcome.

You can watch a recorded session here: Chemotherapy and Immunotherapy Education Class

Preparing for Radiation Therapy

Learn about what to expect with radiation therapy. Recommended for all patients receiving radiation therapy. Family and caregivers welcome.

Contact: Yuko Abbott, DSW, LCSW, OSW-C, at

Dates and times:

Head and Neck Education Class

Recommended for patients and families preparing for treatment for head and neck cancers.

Dates and times:

You can also watch a recorded session here: Head and Neck Cancer Patient Education Class

Ostomy 101

Non-medical lifestyle classes for people who have had bowel or urinary diversion surgery (colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy). Learn practical tools for vibrant living.

Contact: Estrella (Star) Harrison, RN, BSN, CWOCN, at

Dates and times:

Food Demonstrations and Seminars

We offer food demonstrations and seminars for patients, staff, research participants and the community through our Healing Foods Program. Click the links below for dates, then choose a date for more information and registration details.

Food Demonstration Schedule and Registration

Location: Room 2007, Moores Cancer Center
Cost: Free, but registration is required.
Registration: Use the links below:

Seminar Schedule

Cost: Free. Registration is suggested but not mandatory.
Registration: Use the links below: