Breast Cancer Resources For Young Women

PJ Hamel Health Guide
  • Breast cancer has typically been thought of as an older woman’s disease. And frankly, it is: nearly 4 out of 5 women diagnosed with breast cancer are over the age of 50. So most of the outreach efforts you’ll see are geared towards the “typical” breast cancer patient: older, white, English-speaking. However, not all of us fall within those rather wide parameters. For those not in the breast cancer, mainstream, those seeking more specialized support, here are some good resources.

    Under age 40? This one’s for you: The Young Survival Coalition is an “international, non-profit network of breast cancer survivors and supporters dedicated to the concerns and issues that are unique to young women and breast cancer. Through action, advocacy and awareness, the YSC seeks to educate the medical, research, breast cancer and legislative communities and to persuade them to address breast cancer in women 40 and under. The YSC also serves as a point of contact for young women living with breast cancer.” You are SO not into the grandmotherly approach taken by so many breast cancer outreach efforts. Try this one instead.

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    Are you an African-American survivor? Sisters Network, Inc., a national African-American breast cancer survivorship organization, offers among other resources an annual September conference, scheduled this year for Oak Brook, Illinois Sept. 21-23. SNI provides  “a broader scope of knowledge that addresses the breast cancer survivorship crisis affecting the African-American woman.” They also sponsor a number of national outreach programs aimed at the African-American community, and the special needs of its breast cancer patients and survivors.

    Are you Jewish? Sharsheret is “a national organization of cancer survivors dedicated to addressing the unique concerns of young Jewish women facing breast cancer.” Founded in 2001, it provides “culturally sensitive support” through a national peer support system. And it’s not just for those of you who’ve had (or have) breast cancer; Sharsheret offers resources to any young Jewish woman who fears she’s at risk for breast cancer.

    Looking for readily accessible information in your native language? Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization offers a 24-hour Q & A hotline for Spanish-speaking women, as well as a hotline featuring interpreters in up to 150 different languages. This wonderful multi-cultural site includes complete versions in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Korean, and Chinese. If English is your second language, what a comfort it is, in this time of stress, to be able to access what you need quickly and easily. If you’re reading this and know of a woman who might benefit from this site–please share with her!

    Men Against Breast Cancer–“Caring About the Women We Love”–is a “national non-profit organization to provide targeted support services to educate and empower men to be effective caregivers when breast cancer strikes a female loved one; as well as target and mobilize men to be active participants in the fight against breast cancer.” This dynamite organization was started by men, for men, and is very “male-friendly.” Save the link for any special men in your life.

  • Anyone out there know of any other breast cancer special-interest groups? Please share by making a comment below, or creating a sharepost. There’s more to life with breast cancer than the American Cancer Society–though I’m totally not dissing the ACS!

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Published On: May 13, 2007