Finding Support After Breast Cancer
Resources and support groups are available for survivors of breast cancer and their families.
You just completed your treatment for breast cancer. You have faced one of life's greatest challenges - so far, so good. But the journey isn't over. The ease of getting back to your day-to-day life may depend on your personality, condition, and other factors.
No matter how secure or worried you feel, finding support can only help. Your hospital may offer support groups or psychological counseling. There are also many other associations and groups that can help you during this troubling time. Many are led by women who have survived breast cancer and have dedicated their lives to helping others.
A partial list of resources follows. These groups can put you in touch with others. Many people are eager to help, given the chance.
- The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service provides specialists to answer questions, provide information, and help you find a breast cancer support group in your community. Call 800-4-CANCER (422-6237).
- Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization offers many services, including support groups and a wig and prosthetics bank. It also hosts YourShoes, a free, anonymous, 24-hour hotline hosted by trained peer counselors who are breast cancer survivors. Information and support is offered to anyone who has questions or concerns about breast cancer. You can be matched with a peer counselor who is the same age, or who has had the same diagnosis or other experiences as your own. Call 1-800-221-2141 (English) or 1-800-986-9505 (Spanish). Interpreters are available for those who speak other languages.
- Breast Cancer Information Clearinghouse
- American Cancer Society, in addition to providing detailed, reliable cancer information, hosts the Cancer Survivors Network. This provides a secure, anonymous place to share experiences and find support. To join the community, go to csn.cancer.org. For cancer information, go to the American Cancer Society website at www.cancer.org or call 800-227-2345.
- Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is the world's leading nonprofit organization funding the fight against breast cancer.It provides information about breast cancer through its website and hosts the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.Call 800-I'M-AWARE (462-9273) or go to the website at www.komen.org.
- National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., is a nonprofit that sponsors the annual Pink Ribbon Challenge to raise awareness and fund free mammograms for women in need. It also hosts communities and discussion groups. See the website at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.
Please note that many bulletin boards, websites, and support groups are not monitored by medical experts.