You don’t have to handle your diagnosis and journey through breast cancer alone. After getting over the initial shock, local and national breast cancer support groups can answer questions and assist you and your family in navigating this emotional time period.
At the local level, many hospitals have cancer centers with patient and family counselors, wig shops, prosthetic shops and group support meetings. During the month of October, which has been designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, look for your local organizations to coordinate activities with national organizations to raise awareness in your community.
- American Cancer Society. The national organization for all types of cancers offers a 24-hour, seven-days a week call-in center. The ACS is a good source of information on local support services for cancer patients and their families. 1-800-227-2345
- Avon Foundation Breast Care Fund. Avon focuses their efforts on raising funds for medically underserved breast cancer patients. Avon earmarks the proceeds from the sale of certain products in their sales brochures to raise money for community-based treatment and screening services. The company’s efforts have succeeded in providing many women who could otherwise not afford the cost of a mammogram, to receive them free. 1-800-227-2345
- BreastCancer.org. BreastCancer.org offers a broad interactive community with chat rooms, blogs, discussion boards and articles. Also unique to this site is using “clicks” instead of cash to donate money to breast cancer research. Simply visit the sponsors’ sites and click ‘like’ to donate.
- National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations. The NABCO website, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health offers comprehensive information on various types of cancers specific to women.
- National Cancer Institute. This division of the NIH keeps statistics on all types of cancer and offers information on current government research, funding and clinical trials with cancer drugs. NCI also produces a twice monthly newsletter on current cancer research. 1-800-422-6237
- National Breast Cancer Coalition. The NBCC has organized the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020 to wipe out breast cancer by the year 2020. Visit the organization’s website to sign a petition to the President of the United States to ask his support of the deadline. The NBCC offers news on current research and public policy. 1-800-6222-2838
- The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Perhaps the most widely-recognized breast cancer support group for victims and survivors, The Komen Foundation sponsors the annual events: Race for the Cure and The 3-Day which raise money for research and community programs. Participants ask businesses and individuals to sponsor their participation in the annual national event or a local race or walk. The participants, which can include breast cancer survivors or those “walking for” victims, turn out in their pink hats, t-shirts and ribbons to show their support for the cause. 1-800-422-6237
- Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization. This organization provides the opportunity for breast cancer patients to be paired up with a mentor of the same age and similar diagnosis for emotional support and to share knowledge. By the same token, Y-Me provides partners of breast cancer patients with similar support services. The organization offers a 24-hour, seven-days a week call center manned by breast cancer survivors. 1-800-221-2141
Are you the partner of a breast cancer victim? Learn how you can best support them during this time!
This is only a partial list of all the breast cancer support groups for patients, survivors, and families. Hospitals also run support groups for breast cancer patients at various points with their disease. Libraries and churches are other good sources of information on local groups, events and talks on breast cancer.