Reach to Recovery

No one should face breast cancer alone

The American Cancer Society’s Reach to Recovery program has been helping breast cancer patients (female and male) cope with their diagnosis, treatment and recovery for more than 30 years.

When a person first finds out they have breast cancer, they may feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and alone. While under this stress, many people must also learn about complex medical treatments and choose the best one.

Talking with a specially trained Reach to Recovery volunteer at this time can provide 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, verbalize 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.

Through face-to-face visits or by phone, Reach to Recovery volunteers provide 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)

Volunteers are trained to provide support and up-to-date information, including literature for spouses, children, friends and other loved ones. Volunteers can also, when appropriate, provide breast cancer patients with a temporary breast form and information on types of permanent prostheses as well as lists of where those items are available within a patient’s community

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