Determining the best options to maintain your breast health and finding resources for screening and treatment can be a challenge. Even after a diagnosis of breast cancer and developing a treatment plan with your medical team, you may still face daily challenges, such as taking time off from work, securing transportation to your appointments, securing child care or finding the energy and time to provide meals for yourself and your family.
Whether you are seeking a place to get screened or have been diagnosed with breast cancer, there are many resources available to help you.
Life after early stage breast cancer treatment:
Many women, and men, after having completed the initial first phase of breast cancer treatment are anxious to move forward with their lives and move to their own ‘new normal’. There are resources to help you with a variety of topics you might face after treatment.
- Facing Forward: Life After Cancer Treatment: This is a booklet created by the National Cancer Institute for people have completed cancer treatment. Family and friends may also want to read this booklet.
- Managing Symptoms and Side Effects: Pain, Fatigue and Insomnia: During and after cancer treatment many patients face symptoms of pain, fatigue and insomnia. Learn about Post Mastectomy Pain Syndrome that is chronic pain persisting beyond the normal healing period. You can also learn about medical and integrative approaches to manage and control pain, increase energy and get more restful sleep.
- Understanding Lymphedema: Breast-cancer related lymphedema is a chronic, debilitating disorder that is frequently misdiagnosed, treated too late or not treated at all. Lymphedema is an abnormal accumulation of fluid which leads to swelling of the arm in some patients after breast cancer surgery. This booklet created by the Avon Foundation can help you better understand lymphedema.
- Understanding when breast cancer returns (also called recurrent or relapsed) or spreads to other parts of the body (also called metastasize or metastatic breast cancer): We know even thinking about the fact that breast cancer can return or recur can raise issues of anxiety, fear and stress. However, many advances have been made and support for people diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer is available.
Learn more at:
Resources for breast cancer screening and treatment:
- National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program: For more than 20 years, this program run by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided access to free or low-cost screening and diagnostic services for breast and cervical cancer to women without resources or insurance. You can find a screening program here: www.cdc.gov
- Avon Breast Health Outreach Program (BHOP): The Avon BHOP links medically underserved women to breast health information and screening programs. You can find funded programs here: www.avonbhop.org
- American Cancer Society: The American Cancer Society (ACS) is a nationwide, community-based volunteer health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer. You can find local ACS programs and links to treatment facilities here: www.cancer.org
Support for women and men diagnosed with breast cancer:
- CancerCare: Provides telephone, online and face-to-face counseling, support groups, education, and financial and co-payment assistance. Professional oncology social workers offer personalized care. All of CancerCare’s services are free. AvonCares at CancerCare provides support for transportation, child and family care while you go through treatment. You can find out more here: www.cancercare.org
- Living Beyond Breast Cancer: A national education and support organization that connects people with trusted breast cancer information and a community of support, regardless of educational background, social support or financial means. www.lbbc.org
- Metastatic Breast Cancer Network: A national, independent, non-profit, all-volunteer, patient-led advocacy organization dedicated to the unique concerns of women and men living with metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage IV or advanced breast cancer. www.mbcn.org
- National Breast Cancer Coalition: A leading advocacy organization for people passionate about advocating for an end to breast cancer. It trains patients and survivors to be active members in setting the breast cancer agenda through Project LEAD. www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org
- Nueva Vida: Provides high-quality, evidence-based approaches that support Latina families facing cancer. www.nueva-vida.org
- Nutrition: Nutrition is an important part of cancer treatment. Learn about nutrition options and recipes from the American Institute for Cancer Research here: www.aicr.org.
Several cities around the country have local organizations that provide meals and grocery support to patients facing breast cancer. Programs that have been supported by the Avon Foundation include:
- Boston: Community Servings www.servings.org
- Denver: Project Angel Heart www.projectangelheart.org
- Los Angeles: Project Angel Food www.angelfood.org
- New York: God’s Love We Deliver www.glwd.org
- San Francisco: Project Open Hand www.openhand.org
- Washington DC: Food & Friends www.foodandfriends.org
- For other cities check with your local United Way program: www.unitedway.org
- Patient Advocate Foundation: Provides patients support for resolving insurance or health care access issues. www.patientadvocate.org
- Sharsheret: A national not-for-profit organization supporting women of all Jewish backgrounds and their families facing breast cancer.www.sharsheret.org
- Sisters Network: Sisters Network is committed to increasing local and national attention to the devastating impact that breast cancer has in the African-American community. www.sistersnetworkinc.org
- Young Survival Coalition: YSC is a global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC offers resources, connections and outreach so women feel supported, empowered and hopeful. www.youngsurvival.org
- Additional Resources: Finding the resources to help your unique situation can be a challenge, but know that many resources and organizations exist to support you. Click here for more resources.
- Society, A.C., Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2013-2014. 2013.
- Hunt, B.R., S. Whitman, and M.S. Hurlbert, Increasing Black:White disparities in breast cancer mortality in the 50 largest cities in the United States. Cancer Epidemiol, 2014. 38(2): p. 118-23.
- Wild, B.W.S.a.C.P., World Cancer Report 2014 2014.
- Ross, A.C., et al., The 2011 report on dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D from the Institute of Medicine: what clinicians need to know. J Clin Endocrinol Metab, 2011. 96(1): p. 53-8.
- Silverstein, M.J., et al., Special report: Consensus conference III. Image-detected breast cancer: state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment. J Am Coll Surg, 2009. 209(4): p. 504-20.
This website was created for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Be sure to partner with your medical provider to develop the best personal care plan for you. Adapted from the American Cancer Society, 2013-2014 Breast Cancer Facts & Figures.