When people first find out they have breast cancer, they may feel overwhelmed, vulnerable, and alone. While under this stress, many people must also learn about and try to understand complex medical treatments and then choose the best one.
Talking with a specially trained Reach to Recovery volunteer at this time can give a measure of comfort and an opportunity for emotional grounding and informed decision-making. Volunteers are breast cancer survivors who give patients and family members an opportunity to express feelings, talk about fears and concerns, and ask questions of someone who is knowledgeable and level-headed. Most importantly, Reach to Recovery volunteers offer understanding, support, and hope because they themselves have survived breast cancer and gone on to live normal, productive lives.
How it works Through face-to-face visits or by phone, Reach to Recovery volunteers give support for:
- People recently diagnosed with breast cancer
- People facing a possible diagnosis of breast cancer
- Those interested in or who have undergone a lumpectomy or mastectomy
- Those considering breast reconstruction
- Those who have lymphedema
- Those who are undergoing or who have completed treatment such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- People facing breast cancer recurrence or metastasis (the spread of cancer to another part of the body)
For more information or to locate a Reach to Recovery program in your area, visit "In Your Area" on the AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY Web site at www.cancer.org or call toll-free at 1-800-227-2345.