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Cancer and its treatment is difficult enough in your own country but in a new land and in a strange language it can be very, very, complex indeed.

Can you imagine how you would cope if you had to face the diagnosis of cancer while living in France? Perhaps you have just retired to France and you are still struggling with the language – would you understand what the doctors are telling you? Where would you go for the information you needed to manage your illness in a way that is best for you? Would you understand the French healthcare system?

Cancer Support France

Help is here! Cancer Support France is an organization that offers the emotional, linguistic and practical help and access to the information that you may need.

Originally set up in 2002, it is today a network of 15 independent associations throughout France that provides support for English-speaking people touched by cancer, whatever their country of origin, gender or religious affiliation.

CSF Aims to:

  • Provide you with support which is confidential and free of charge
  • Offer support to you, your family and your carers by telephone, in person or by email
  • Help you to ask the right questions
  • Accompany you to consultations and provide language support if needed
  • Guide you to other sources of appropriate advice
  • Provide access to information in English about cancer and its treatment in France
  • Visit you at home or in hospital when this is possible
  • Welcome you to ‘Drop In’ days or support group meetings at an association near you

As Penny Parkinson, the national President, explains “CSF offers emotional and practical support in many and varied ways to English-speaking people living in France who are touched by cancer. We support cancer patients themselves, but also their carers, families and those closest to them. We are all volunteers, many of us speak fluent French and vitally, we have extensive knowledge of the French health care system. Many of us have experienced cancer first-hand and understand the emotional effects of the disease and its treatment. All our volunteers are fully trained and abide by our strict confidentiality policy. Over the past 13 years, CSF has made a real difference to the lives of nearly 2,000 people and today, our network of affiliated, but independent, associations throughout France supports around 400. Our aim is to ensure there is no English speaker of any nationality in France who needs us but who is not aware of us.

Where is CSF?

There are four CSF associations to support English-speakers in this region:

Cancer Support FranceThese associations organise a number of fundraising and other social events such as book and clothing sales, drop-in pamper days, coffee mornings and walks. CSF also organise an annual “Cycle for Life” which Renestance sponsored in 2015 and are proud to be supporting again in 2017.

For a list of other events or associations nationwide visit www.cancersupportfrance.org, or for cancer support and advice, call the national helpline 0800 240 200.

Annette Morris

Annette is Renestance’s 'go to' girl for all things marketing and social media. Bilingual and originally from Surrey in the UK, Annette has lived in France since 2008. In addition to her web design and marketing consultancy, Annette is the founder of Languedoc Jelly (a network of free events across the region for anyone working from home) and also Urban Sketchers Languedoc (part of a global community of people that like to draw or paint on location). A fan of all things French and Franglaise, she also has a Citroen 2CV called Beryl.

All articles by: Annette Morris

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