By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When it comes to cancer and other chronic diseases, you cannot underestimate the value of people having a positive outlook. Being positive and having support is crucial for the healing process.

One particularly helpful tool is the ability to join a support group. There’s nothing that makes patients feel better than realizing they’re not alone through an illness, especially a life-threatening illness.

It’s important to know that there are other people who are survivors. They play a crucial role as role models to help people who can assess their own comfort. People fighting through an illness can look at these people and decide whether or not what they’ve done is right for them.

In other words, support and seeing other people; dealing with these things is important.
On line support groups can also be quite effective allowing people to reach out and cast a wide net for support.