A strong support network can help breast cancer patients navigate their treatments and all of the uncertainty that can arise after a cancer diagnosis. Many women undergoing treatment for breast cancer lean on friends and family for everything from emotional support to help with household tasks and much more. Though family and friends are often invaluable to women during their battles with breast cancer, sometimes a little support from women going through the same ups and downs can be just what patients need to stay the course and overcome their disease.
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women across the globe. The WCRF estimates that breast cancer accounts for roughly 25 percent of all cancers in women. The World Health Organization reports that 2.3 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. Those figures are significant, but it’s important that women recognize that five-year survival rates have improved dramatically in recent decades. In fact, the American Cancer Society notes that the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancers is 99 percent, while the rate for breast cancers that has spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes is 86 percent.
Rising survival rates for breast cancer mean that millions of women across the globe have already survived the disease, and many such women play vital roles in support groups that help women every day.
CancerCare® is a national organization in the United States that is dedicated to providing free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer. All CancerCare® services are provided by oncology social workers and renowned cancer experts. The following are just a few of the support groups cancer patients can access through www.cancercare.org.
• Breast Cancer Patient Support Group: This free, 15-week online support group is for people diagnosed with breast cancer who are currently receiving treatment. Access the group at https://www.cancercare.org/support_groups/43-breast_cancer_patient_support_group.
• African American Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patient Support Group: This group is for African Americans diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer who are currently receiving treatment. The group is free and continues for 15 weeks. Access the group at https://www.cancercare.org/support_groups/197-african_american_triple_negative_breast_cancer_patient_support_group.
• Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Support Group: This free, 15-week support group is for people diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer who are currently receiving treatment. Access the group at https://www.cancercare.org/support_groups/44-metastatic_breast_cancer_patient_support_group.
• Breast Cancer Post-Treatment Survivorship Support Group: Patients who have completed their breast cancer treatment within the past 18 months are eligible for this free, 15-week support group. Access the group at https://www.cancercare.org/support_groups/180-breast_cancer_post-treatment_survivorship_support_group.
Each CancerCare® online support group is available exclusively to residents of the United States, including people in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories. The Canadian Cancer Society has a database that cancer patients in Canada can use to find local support services in their area. That can be accessed via the CCS Community Services Locator at www.csl.cancer.ca.