All forms of support can have a profound effect on treatment outcomes for breast cancer, and it begins with finding the right resources.
A breast cancer diagnosis can leave you and your loved ones feeling unsure about the future. Whether you have just been diagnosed, undergoing chemotherapy, or recovering from a mastectomy, local support in Arkansas can help you conquer life at every stage of this disease. October may be Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but you can find support year-round if you need it!
New Breast Cancer Diagnoses
After receiving the news that you have breast cancer, you have many venues for support in Arkansas. Many local support groups can help guide you navigate the physical, emotional, and financial challenges at every stage of breast cancer. If you need any kind of resources or financial assistance, contact Komen Arkansas. You or any of your family members can also call 1-877 GO KOMEN for professional support, including individual and family counseling. If you would like to reach out to other women battling breast cancer, your local hospital, your oncologist, or another health care provider can refer you to support groups for new diagnoses. You can also browse Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer survivor network to read advice and stories from women who have gone through similar experiences.
Handling Your Breast Cancer Treatment
Getting a handle on your diagnosis means more than seeking the medical treatment recommended by your physician. Different types of support groups are there to help women with different needs, desires, interests, and personalities as you undergo chemotherapy, radiation, ablations, or other treatments.
Whether you need more information or just someone to talk to, it is important to find a support group tailored to you. Some women prefer formal meetings with many attendees while others may choose to visit a therapist alone. Try taking up a new hobby or joining an exercise class. Aside from utilizing these outlets, having loved ones beside you before, during, and after treatment can give you the confidence and motivation to stay strong.
Many people are not comfortable sharing their thoughts and emotions with people outside of family and friends. If you find that a local support group does not fit your needs, there are other ways to find your outlet. Online forums let you talk to people and get advice without the pressure of face-to-face interaction. When you need professional guidance, your doctor is the ultimate resource—let them answer any questions you have throughout your treatment.
What to Do After a Mastectomy
If your doctor recommends a mastectomy and you choose to undergo the surgery, you do not have to have reconstruction surgery. Specialized post-mastectomy clothing can help you regain your confidence without losing support or comfort. Prosthetic breast forms are made of a comfortable, flexible silicone that simulates the look and feel of a natural breast. Breast forms can be attached to your chest using an adhesive or inserted into a mastectomy bra for daily use.
Many Medicare and private insurance plans cover a portion of the cost of a breast form if you provide a doctor’s prescription. When you go for a mastectomy fitting, feel free to ask your mastectomy fitter questions and use them as a resource. They can help you find mastectomy bras, camisoles, sleepwear, and other post-mastectomy clothing so you look and feel more like yourself during your recovery and remission.
Help is available at every stage of breast cancer. For more breast cancer resources in Arkansas, request a consultation at Horton’s Orthotics & Prosthetics or call 501-683-8889 if you have questions for our mastectomy department.