Find a Breast Cancer Support Group in the Area
In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here's a list of local breast cancer support groups.
One in 8 American women and 1 in 1,000 American men will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s estimated that more than 2 million people are diagnosed with breast cancer and fight for their lives each year.
Breast cancer is difficult to face alone—for both patients and their loved ones. To help in the battle, there are a number of local resources and support groups.
- Breast Cancer Support Group, Ingalls Memorial Hospital, Harvey. This group will meet Nov. 6 and Dec. 4. To register for November, click here. To register for December, click here.
- Breast Cancer Health Awareness Forum for the African-American Woman, Ingalls Memorial Hospital, Harvey. This free event takes place Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To register, click here.
- Breast Cancer Support Group, Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park. This group meets once a month, except during July. Meetings are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.
- Breast Cancer Forum, Cancer Support Center, Homewood location. This group meets on the frist Wednesday of every month, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
- Group for People with Cancer, Cancer Support Center, Homewood and Mokena locations. This group is for any person diagonosed with cancer, including breast cancer. The group meets at the Homewood location every tuesday, with meetings in the morning and afternoon. The group meets at the Mokena location on Wednesdays, in the morning.
“Support groups are really beneficial,” says Debra Somerrs Copit, MD, Director of Breast Imaging at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and a member of the medical advisory board for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.
“When patients are told they’re sick, it can be an out of body experience and they aren’t taking in everything the doctor is saying. It can be helpful to have someone to turn to and learn from who has gone through the same thing,” says Copit, who is a breast cancer survivor herself.
Not only do groups offer emotional support, but being a part of a support group can actually help patients feel less depressed and can help to reduce physical pain, according to a 2001 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Patients who aren’t big fans of group settings but still want to reap the benefits can turn to technology. It’s hard to duplicate in-person support groups on the web, but the recently launched breast cancer specific social networking platform,MyBreastCancerTeam comes close.
The site and mobile app caters to breast cancer survivors, and women who have been recently diagnosed. Users can find suggestions for doctors and find similar users based on location, diagnosis and age. Members also have access to peer-driven Q&A section where they can read and write posts.
While a web platform may be useful for some, Dr.Copit worries that online forums can sometimes trigger the spread of misinformation. She suggests that patients who can’t make it to an in-person support group try calling a phone line.
Living Beyond Breast Cancer has a confidential survivors’ helpline that connects patients with others of similar background, going through similar situation. Call (888) 753-LBBC (5222) for more information.