Breast cancer impacts millions of women, and by extension millions of families and loved ones. If there is a singular message to this year’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is that these people are not alone. In fact, a major component of the annual October awareness campaign is to promote breast cancer support resources.
The resources take many forms, but have the common thread of helping those suffering from the disease, and those who have survived it, often at no cost. Research tells us a staggering one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and two-thirds of women with invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed after age 55. This puts aging adult women, and some men, at elevated risk.
Research also shows that early detection and access to support resources can be an effective means for combating the disease. Participation in support groups, where afflicted individuals can receive help and survivors can share support, has been shown to mitigate related emotional stress. Large, reputable organizations providing support like this include the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
A list of other leading organizations can be found here. Almost all of these groups provide access to online or in-person support communities. Such programs include:
- The National Breast Cancer Foundation’s “Beyond The Shock” initiative. This is an around-the-clock online support group where breast cancer survivors are available to answer questions from new patients and share their inspiring stories.
- The American Cancer Society’s “Reach To Recovery” program. This offers newly diagnosed patients one-on-one support with breast cancer survivor volunteers.
- The Cancer Support Community. This organization hosts free support resources in cities across the country, and provides online support groups hosted by licensed professionals for those who cannot attend.
- GriefShare. This is a support program for people who have experienced the loss of a loved one.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from breast cancer or needs help coping with related stresses, contacting any of the above mentioned organizations may be able to provide some relief. Moreover, do not wait to contact an estate planning attorney for assistance in crafting critical health care-related estate documents. This step can provide an added measure of peace during a difficult time. Remember, you are always welcome to reach out to our law firm for help preparing the documents you may need now or in the future.