Knowledge is power and if you have been sent reeling by a cancer diagnosis, you will want to arm yourself with as much information as possible. You can start by checking out the National Cancer Institute’s website (https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer) which has a wealth of information from the basics of what cancer is, to coping, to current research. The Union for International Cancer Control (https://www.uicc.org/) has the latest international news about cancer, as well as resources for patients and their families on their resource page.
If you or your loved one would like to find out more information about cancer in Japanese, take a look at the websites for The Center for Cancer Control and Information Services (https://ganjoho.jp/public/index.html) and the Japan Cancer Society (http://www.jcancer.jp/) There are also 3 hotlines available for consultation:
General Cancer Consultation Hotline/がん相談ホットライン: 03-3541-7830
Consult an Expert Hotline/専門医によるがん無料相談: 03-3541-7835
Employment Hotline/就労相談（社労士がん相談): 03-3541-7835
Once you have started to arm yourself with knowledge about the type of cancer you are facing and its treatment options and outcome, you are going to need support. Healthcare Institutions in Japan often have medical social workers in them to help with the economic, social and psychological problems that patients and their families face. To find a member of the Japanese Association of Social Workers in Health Services at a hospital near you, you can consult a map on their website (https://www.jaswhs.or.jp/map/map.php). You can find support as a cancer survivor in Japanese in the Cancer Survivor Club (https://www.gsclub.jp/) which has its own social networking site.
If you are a caregiver in need of support you can find it at Help for Cancer Caregivers (https://www.helpforcancercaregivers.org/) and at the Caregiver Action Network (https://caregiveraction.org/), which has at telephone hotline, as well as email and chat options.
Coping with a cancer diagnosis can be hard on your mental health and if you or your loved one find yourself in need of support or counselling, the Tokyo English Lifeline (https://telljp.com/) offers an English telephone hotline, a text chat, as well as counselling options in both English and Japanese.
This small list of resources only scratches the surface of what is available, but I hope it can give you a starting place from where to proceed if you find yourself facing a cancer diagnosis for you or your loved one. Please do not hesitate to reach out to AFWJ members for support and guidance, that’s what we’re here for.