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Breast Cancer Support Groups on the Connecticut Shoreline

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here's a list of local breast cancer support groups.

 

One in 8 American women and 1 in 1,000 American men will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. It’s estimated that more than 2 million people are diagnosed with breast cancer and fight for their lives each year.

Breast cancer is difficult to face alone—for both patients and their loved ones. To help in the battle, there are a number of local resources and support groups, including the Breast Cancer Support Group of The Cancer Support Community - Southern Connecticut (CSC-SCT). This free breast cancer support group meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in the newly renovated Orchard House at 421 Shore Drive in Branford.

“Support groups are really beneficial,” says Debra Somerrs Copit, MD, Director of Breast Imaging at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and a member of the medical advisory board for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

“When patients are told they’re sick, it can be an out of body experience and they aren’t taking in everything the doctor is saying. It can be helpful to have someone to turn to and learn from who has gone through the same thing,” says Copit, who is a breast cancer survivor herself.

Not only do groups offer emotional support, but being a part of a support group can actually help patients feel less depressed and can help to reduce physical pain, according to a 2001 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Patients who aren’t big fans of group settings but still want to reap the benefits can turn to technology. It’s hard to duplicate in-person support groups on the web, but the recently launched breast cancer specific social networking platform, MyBreastCancerTeam comes close.

The site and mobile app caters to breast cancer survivors, and women who have been recently diagnosed. Users can find suggestions for doctors and find similar users based on location, diagnosis and age. Members also have access to peer-driven Q&A section where they can read and write posts.

While a web platform may be useful for some, Dr. Copit worries that online forums can sometimes trigger the spread of misinformation. She suggests that patients who can’t make it to an in-person support group try calling a phone line.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer has a confidential survivors’ helpline that connects patients with others of similar background, going through similar situation. Call (888) 753-LBBC (5222) for more information.

Others choose to write about their experiences, including Krissy, who blogs about her Chemo Kick-Off Party and the night before her ninth surgery in the two and a half years since her breast cancer diagnosis.

TELL US: Do you know of any other breast cancer support groups in the community? How have they helped you?

Sam Giglio October 08, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Order Sons of Italy in America Greater New Haven Lodge #37 Will be holding our annual Ladies Luncheon on November 18, 2012 All profits will support Breast Cancer Awareness We will donate as we did last year to the Hospital of St Raphael, Women's Center for Breast Health New Haven, CT.
Krissy October 09, 2012 at 01:12 AM
There is a support group in Guilford at the YNHH Shoreline Medical Center. There are also groups at Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven for both metastatic and early stage survivors.

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