Breast Cancer Survivorship

Thriving through breast cancer and beyond

As a survivor, you will experience a variety of effects from cancer – physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. We understand that the journey you are on is transformative. While undergoing treatment, and as you complete and move past treatment, Hoag’s caring team is here to help you navigate through your individual needs.

With all the focus and energy placed on treatment, you may have not spent much time thinking about what happens next. How do you maintain or go back to “normal” when clearly something – maybe even everything – is different? How do you handle fears of recurrence, and changes you may experience physically, cognitively, emotionally, and socially?

With 12 million Americans now living their lives as cancer survivors, these are the challenging and powerful questions that guide the support services provided at Hoag Family Cancer Institute and throughout the community. At Hoag, you are considered a cancer survivor from the time of diagnosis onwards and we are here for you every step of the way.

Hoag has developed programs specifically tailored to help you learn how to take care of yourself during and after treatments, to offer guidance for those who are reevaluating their lives and priorities, and to help you adapt to any new functional or physical changes.

Hoag’s support services are an important aspect of your overall care. Your oncologist and clinical care team focus on curative treatment, while our support services focus on helping patients thrive through their cancer and into a meaningful life following it.

Tips for Cancer Survivors

To help you thrive through cancer, we offer a few ideas that will help you manage the health of your full body and enhance your quality of life during and beyond treatment.

1. Create a plan
Ask your oncologist or medical team to compile a “Survivorship Care Plan,” a complete summary of your cancer care and a specific plan for follow up care. The plan should include detailed information about your diagnosis and life style modifications such as diet and exercise, and include when/how often you should return for follow up appointments. Having a plan can dramatically simplify and improve your future medical care and your quality of life.

2. Get educated
Better managing your health and enhancing your quality of life can be empowering. We encourage you to review the many resources offered throughout the community.

3. Manage stress
Cancer can have varied impacts on your physical, psychological and social wellbeing. Finding ways to manage and reduce stress can be extremely helpful. Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers complimentary Mind/Body classes such as meditation, Reiki, and a variety of yoga practices.

4. Find support
Talking about what you are going through normalizes the struggle and transforms what can often be an isolating experience into a community of hope, understanding and support. We offer several types of cancer support groups for patients and family members which are open to the community, as well as one on-one-counseling.

5. Care for caregivers
Caregivers and loved ones need support too as they are coping with their own feelings, anxieties, and stressors. We offer a monthly family caregiver series to provide greater education, resources, and assistance.

For more details on the support services classes and programs, visit Hoag’s Cancer Support Services.