Thousands of women were diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Despite those numbers, many women may feel isolated in their experience with breast cancer because they may not have a close friend or family member who is a survivor that can offer advice and support.
Baptist Health Lexington’s Empowerment Series for Breast Cancer Patients is part support group and part informational forum. The free series of programs is open to any woman who has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer, regardless of where she is being, or was, treated.
While the programs offer information on a variety of topics that are pertinent to breast cancer patients, they also offer a safe place to express fears and have questions answered by those who truly understand.
The series addresses the overwhelming nature of a breast cancer diagnosis. Visits to health care providers for tests, surgeries and treatments have to be worked in along with the average life responsibilities of work, household upkeep, children, grandchildren as well as relationships with spouses and others you may need during this time of life.
The goal for the series is to educate and free breast cancer patients from as much stress and fear as possible so that they can be as receptive as possible to the treatment plan their cancer care team has developed.
The Empowerment Series for Breast Cancer Patients meets at Central Baptist Church at 110 Wilson Downing Road. A complimentary dinner is offered at 6 p.m. The program, which begins at 6:30 p.m., is led by a certified oncology nurse navigator and a professional who specializes in the topic of the evening. During the speaker’s presentation, the atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable and conducive to sharing concerns and asking questions.
Remaining dates and topics of programs in the current series are:
▪ Nov. 18 — Nutrition and movement
▪ Dec. 16 — Caring for the spirit
▪ Jan. 13, 2016 — Fear of recurrence, stress and depression
▪ Feb. 10 — Giving back to the community
▪ March 9 — How to pay for cancer care
▪ April 20 — Genetics and cancer
▪ May 18 — Pain and sleep issues
There have been a number of studies about the potential benefits of support groups for people with breast cancer. Results are mixed on whether participating in such groups can lengthen life, but studies have shown that support groups can provide an increased quality of life.
To learn more about the Empowerment Series for Breast Cancer Patients or to register to attend, please call (859) 260-6574.
Peggy Wheeler is the breast nurse navigator at Baptist Health Lexington.