John Stoddard Cancer Center Support Groups

Cancer Support Group Meetings

UnityPoint Health – John Stoddard Cancer Center, a service of UnityPoint Health - Des Moines, offers many support services to patients and families who wish to share their feelings with others who will understand. View all classes and events offered at UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.

Stoddard Cancer Center offers both in-person and virtual options for most support groups. Please contact your support group facilitator about being added to the group list, so you can receive all future updates.

Support Group Description
Blood Cancer Family Support Group
For adult patients with leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, myeloma or myelodysplastic syndromes and their family and friends. For information, call (515) 241-8505.
Caregiver Support Group
For caregivers, this group is a blend of open discussion as well as educational information to help with practical advice and guidance from both healthcare professionals and other caregivers. For information, call (515) 241-4234.
Colorectal Cancer Support Group
For patients and their family members and friends. Throughout the year, each member of the Stoddard Cancer Center colorectal cancer multidisciplinary team will speak to the group. For information, call (515) 241-4344.
Prostate Cancer Support Group  A national support group for prostate cancer survivors and their families that offers information, counseling and educational meetings. For information, call (515) 241-4231.
Support for People with Oral, Head & Neck Cancer (SPOHNC) For anyone who has a diagnosis of oral, head or neck cancer. This group is open to patients that are newly diagnosed, currently getting treatment, have completed treatment or at any stage in their cancer journey and to their family members. For information, call (515) 241-3399.
Advanced or Recurrent Cancer Support Group For anyone whose cancer has progressed to Stage IV. For information, call (515) 241-8505.
Gynecologic Cancer Support Group This support group is open to individuals with ovarian or any type of gynecological cancer and survivors as well as their families and friends. For more information, call (515) 241-4231.
Life Beyond Breast Cancer A support group for those who have had a diagnosis of breast cancer. For information, call (515) 241-8505.

Patient Education

Patient Education is available for all new cancer patients and their families, as well as those currently undergoing treatment. Our Oncology Nurse Navigators will teach you what you should know about cancer and what to expect during and after surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy. You will also receive information on support services/community resources available to patients and families. Our goal is to reduce anxiety and increase knowledge as patients are starting treatment. For information, call (515) 241-3343.

Individual Consultations

What's on your mind? A group or individual counseling program for people with cancer and/or families. Patients/family members are welcome to come to group counseling or may set up individual appointments. For information on meeting dates and locations, call (515) 241-3343

Head Coverings - For people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments, EMPOWER Boutique and Salon has wigs, turbans, scarves and hats available for purchase. For a free individual consultation, call (515) 241-4243.

Support Groups - Other Facilities

Heart of Iowa Ostomy Support Group - This support group is open to individuals with ostomies as well as their support persons. The group meets the first Sunday of each month from 3:00-4:00 p.m. For more information, email

Additional Services

Family Resource Library - Information available regarding cancer and community resources. For more information, call (515) 241-5308.

Survivorship Program

Survivorship Interview - This session is offered to cancer survivors who have completed cancer therapy and are now looking forward to maintaining a healthy and fulfilling life beyond cancer. Contact your oncology provider’s office to set up a survivorship interview. 

Above+Beyond Cancer Optimal Living for Cancer Survivors

This program promotes the participation of cancer survivors in exercise and wellness activities. All classes are free to YMCA members and survivors may receive a 12-week scholarship to the YMCA. For more information call (515) 512-9225 visit or talk to your doctor about making a referral.