Together We Can -- Newsletter of the Joan Karnell Cancer Center
 

Fall 2003

Technological Advancements in Treatment of Breast Cancer
PET Scan Techonology
Every Step of the Way
Knowledge is Power
Supportive Care Programs for Women with Breast Cancer
 
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Supportive Care Programs for Women with Breast Cancer

The Joan Karnell Cancer Center offers a wide variety of supportive care programs. Several of these specific programs are described below:

Person-to-Person is a supportive care program that was developed to support and encourage newly diagnosed cancer patients and those undergoing treatment for cancer. Trained volunteers, who are cancer survivors, provide visits or phone calls to newly diagnosed patients. The primary goal is to diminish the patient's anxiety by providing a supportive environment in which they can express fears and concerns that they might not want to share with family members.

The volunteer's job is to help the patient to function as a healthy person within the limits of their illness by offering examples of coping skills that helped them, the volunteer, come to terms with their disease. The group meets on the last Thursday of the month and new members, six months or more past their treatment, are welcome to attend.

Facing Forward is a breast cancer education support group that meets on the third Tuesday of each month. The group consists of women who have experienced mastectomies, lumpectomies, and/or hormonal therapy.

The overall purpose of the support group is to provide emotional and social support for the participants in a safe, protective environment, and to help normalize fears and concerns by meeting with others who are experiencing similar life changes.

This group is co-facilitated by an oncology social worker and an oncology nurse, who also run the Person-to-Person group. Guest speakers address a variety of topics of interest to women with breast cancer. New members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

Healthy Balance is an education support group focusing on nutrition, exercise and body image. Weight gain is a common side effect, which can be very disturbing for many women. The reasons for the weight gain are not fully understood but many factors have been implicated such as: nausea, stress eating, decreased physical activity, hormonal or metabolic changes. This new program is designed for women who have completed breast cancer treatment.

The goal of Healthy Balance is to provide education regarding healthy food choices, discuss attitudes about the relationship we have with foods, provide tools to support mindful eating, offering emotional support and discussing ways to increase physical activity. If you are 20 pounds or more over our comfortable weight or if you experienced a weight gain through your treatment, this program may be for you.

 


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