October is widely known as breast cancer awareness month, a focal moment to increase women’s awareness that they should have a clinical breast exam and mammogram every 1-2 years depending on their age and family history.
It is also a time to focus on those who have breast cancer, celebrating survivors, remembering those we have lost, and supporting those living with breast cancer. A diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming, but women need to know they are not alone.
The Hematology/Oncology team at Harvard Vanguard has put together a list of resources that you, a friend, or a loved one might find helpful:
The American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org):
- Free 24/7 telephone support with cancer information specialists - call 1-800-ACS-2345
- What Next, an online peer cancer support network
- Reach to Recovery program matches newly diagnosed women with a trained volunteer who is a breast cancer survivor and can talk about coping with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
- If you need assistance with rides to treatment, volunteers assist through the Road to Recovery service
- Trained volunteer cosmetologists teach women how to cope with skin changes and hair loss using cosmetics and skin care products donated by the cosmetic industry during Look Good … Feel Better sessions. There is a free Look Good…Feel Better program at the Harvard Vanguard Kenmore practice on Monday, December 12, 2011. The program is open to anyone. Click here for more information about the program and to register.
- Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free, temporary place to stay when their best option for effective treatment may be in another city.
- Toll free 24/7 breast cancer support in 150 languages
- Breast Cancer Survivor Match program pairs you with a peer counselor who has had the same diagnosis, is the same age or has experienced similar challenges
- Partner Match Program provides support and education for people who are supporting a wife, partner or other loved one through the disease
- Wig & Prosthesis bank offers wigs and breast prostheses for women with limited resources
Cleaning for a Reason (www.cleaningforareason.org):
This organization partners with maid services to offer free professional house cleaning to improve the lives of women undergoing cancer treatment.
The Ellie Fund (elliefund.org):
Provides free transportation to medical appointments, childcare, housekeeping, groceries and nutritious prepared/delivered meals. Program participants must be referred by an oncology physician, social worker or patient navigator.
- Counseling by telephone with oncology social workers
- Online or telephone support groups for patients and caregivers
- Telephone or online workshops
- For those who qualify, financial assistance with homecare, childcare, transportation, medication, medical equipment and more
National Cancer Institute (www.cancer.gov):
- Resources for financial assistance for cancer patients and their families
- Information about treatment, clinical trials, screenings and more
The Hematology/Oncology Department at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates is located at our Kenmore practice. Our mission is to provide our patients with state-of-the-art treatments delivered in a comfortable and compassionate manner.