Posts Tagged ‘live chat’

9/26/17 – Breast Cancer Live Chat Transcript

2017 Breast Cancer Live Chat Image

Thank you to those of you who joined the Breast Cancer live chat hosted by Dr. Lea Gilliland and Dr. Preeti Subhedar with Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s Glenn Family Breast Center. The chat had a good turnout and the transcript is now available below.

Breast Cancer Live Chat Transcript

Overview: Dr. Lea Gilliland and Dr. Preeti Subhedar answer your questions about breast cancer risk factors, screenings, symptoms, and therapy.

[Sep 26, 11:59 AM] EmoryHealthcare: Welcome everyone! Thanks for joining us today for our web chat about Breast Cancer: Risk Factors, Screenings, Symptoms & Therapy with Dr. Lea Gilliland and Dr. Preeti Subhedar with Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s Glenn Family Breast Center.

[Sep 26, 12:00 PM] EmoryHealthcare: We’ll get started in just a minute. Dr. Lea Gilliland and Dr. Preeti Subhedar are here to answer all your questions!

[Sep 26, 12:01 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Please note that all questions are moderated before appearing in the stream, so you may not see yours appear right away, but we will do our best to answer all your questions today.

[Sep 26, 12:03 PM] EmoryHealthcare: We received some questions that were submitted in advance of the chat, so we’ll get started by answering a few of those first.

[Sep 26, 12:04 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Q. What are your screening recommendations for women over 55?

[Sep 26, 12:04 PM] EmoryHealthcare: A. American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend screening every year beginning at 40. This saves the most lives. A recent study by Cornell notes that 19% of all breast cancers occur in women age 40-49.

[Sep 26, 12:05 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Q. Does reproductive history affect breast cancer risks?

[Sep 26, 12:06 PM] EmoryHealthcare: A. According to the American Cancer Society, women who have not had children or who had their first child after age 30 have a slightly higher breast cancer risk overall. Having many pregnancies and becoming pregnant at an early age reduces breast cancer risk. Still, the effect of pregnancy seems to be different for different types of breast cancer. For a certain type of breast cancer known as triple-negative, pregnancy seems to increase risk.

[Sep 26, 12:07 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Q. How often should I go to my doctor for a check-up?

[Sep 26, 12:07 PM] EmoryHealthcare: A. Once a year if you do not have a recent history of breast cancer. Screening mammography is recommended once a year.

[Sep 26, 12:08 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Q. What risk factors exist for breast cancer… I’ve heard alcohol, aluminum in deodorant, alkalizing versus natural pH in drinking water…

[Sep 26, 12:10 PM] EmoryHealthcare: A. According to the American Cancer Society(ACS), drinking alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Compared with non-drinkers, women who have 1 alcoholic drink a day have a very small increase in risk. Those who have 2 to 3 drinks a day have about a 20% higher risk compared to women who don’t drink alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption is known to increase the risk of other cancers, too.

[Sep 26, 12:11 PM] EmoryHealthcare: A. (continued) The ACS recommends that women who drink have no more than 1 drink a day.

Additional risk factors noted by the ACS include being overweight after menopause (fat creates estrogen), not being physically active, not having children or delaying having children, not breast feeding, use of birth control (during use), and use of combined estrogen and progesterone therapy after menopause.

[Sep 26, 12:15 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Let’s move on to your live questions now!

[Sep 26, 12:15 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Please sign in using one of the options at the bottom of the chat and submit your questions for [enter doctor name] in the comment box.

[Sep 26, 12:15 PM] Guest1876: What type of doctor should I see if I think I have breast cancer?

[Sep 26, 12:20 PM] EmoryHealthcare: If the concern is a new mass, you should have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.  If you have a current diagnosis of breast cancer, you should visit your breast cancer surgeon for a consult.

[Sep 26, 12:20 PM] Simone: What is the hormone receptor status of my cancer? What does this mean?

[Sep 26, 12:23 PM] EmoryHealthcare: All breast cancers have a hormone that makes it grow. We look at 3 receptors for hormones to decide on what kind of treatment you need. We look at the estrogen, progesterone and Her2 receptors to direct therapy.

[Sep 26, 12:23 PM] Guest6133: How do I get a copy of my pathology report?

[Sep 26, 12:23 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Your surgeon should be able to help guide you.

[Sep 26, 12:24 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Or you could contact the hospital’s medical records department.

[Sep 26, 12:25 PM] JJL94: What about genetic testing? What would the pros and cons of testing be?

[Sep 26, 12:27 PM] EmoryHealthcare: There are certain situations in which genetic testing is important. Not all people need to have genetic testing. If you are a woman under the age of 45 with a diagnosis of cancer, are 50 years old with breast cancer and have a relative with a history of cancer, or multiple family members with cancer, you may want to consider testing. These are just some of the indications.

[Sep 26, 12:29 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Pros: allows you to understand your specific genetic risk

Cons: the result can sometimes be distressing. Talk to your family about what the results may mean to you

[Sep 26, 12:29 PM] Guest8532: Does smoking cause breast cancer?

[Sep 26, 12:31 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Smoking is a risk factor for all types of cancer, including breast. It is also a risk factor for non-cancer related diagnoses such as heart disease. Talk to your primary care physician if you are interested in smoking cessation.

[Sep 26, 12:33 PM] Guest4423: I had wire localization a few years ago. Are they using seeds now, to guide the surgeon?

[Sep 26, 12:36 PM] Guest6133: What kind of impact does stress have on breast cancer?

[Sep 26, 12:37 PM] EmoryHealthcare: There are no known direct links between stress and breast cancer, but we may just not know enough about the link yet. Stress can have an adverse effect on things like blood pressure, heart rate and can therefore be deleterious. Talk to your primary care physician for ways to reduce stress.

[Sep 26, 12:38 PM] Simone: Are mammograms painful?

[Sep 26, 12:38 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Mammograms can be uncomfortable but they should not be painful. It can be difficult to image all of the breast tissue that needs to be included. Please let your technologist know if you are experiencing pain or have experienced pain in the past.

[Sep 26, 12:41 PM] Guest1876: Is there a link between hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and breast cancer?

[Sep 26, 12:41 PM] EmoryHealthcare: There are 2 main types of hormone therapy. For women who still have a uterus (womb), doctors generally prescribe estrogen and progesterone (known as combined hormone therapy or HT). Progesterone is needed because estrogen alone can increase the risk of cancer of the uterus. For women who’ve had a hysterectomy (who no longer have a uterus), estrogen alone can be used. This is known as estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) or just estrogen therapy (ET).

[Sep 26, 12:42 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Combined hormone therapy (HT): Use of combined hormone therapy after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer. It may also increase the chances of dying from breast cancer. This increase in risk can be seen with as little as 2 years of use. Combined HT also increases the likelihood that the cancer may be found at a more advanced stage. The increased risk from combined HT appears to apply only to current and recent users. A woman’s breast cancer risk seems to return to that of the general population with

[Sep 26, 12:43 PM] EmoryHealthcare: population within 5 years of stopping treatment.

[Sep 26, 12:44 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Bioidentical hormone therapy: The word bioidentical is sometimes used to describe versions of estrogen and progesterone with the same chemical structure as those found naturally in people. The use of these hormones has been marketed as a safe way to treat the symptoms of menopause. But because there aren’t many studies comparing “bioidentical” or “natural” hormones to synthetic versions of hormones, there’s no proof that they’re safer or more effective. More studies are needed to know for sure.

[Sep 26, 12:45 PM] Guest8532: What are the side effects of Tamoxifen?

[Sep 26, 12:45 PM] EmoryHealthcare: The common side effects of tamoxifen include menopausal symptoms such as night sweats, insomnia, weight gain. Other side effects include muscle or joint pain. The most serious risk of blood clots and risk of uterine cancer is only 1/1000 patients. Although these risks sound serious, remember that when tamoxifen is prescribed to you, it reduces your risk of another breast cancer by 50%.

[Sep 26, 12:46 PM] Guest6015: Where can i learn about clinical trials for breast cancer?

[Sep 26, 12:47 PM] EmoryHealthcare: You can always ask your breast cancer physician (medical, surgical, or radiation oncologist). Also, Winship Cancer center has a website that can specifically allow you to see if a clinical trial is appropriate for you.

[Sep 26, 12:48 PM] Guest6133: My grandmother said wearing my cellphone in my sports bra could cause cancer? Have you seen any research to support this?

[Sep 26, 12:48 PM] EmoryHealthcare: There has not been any reliable research to support this.

[Sep 26, 12:49 PM] EmoryHealthcare: These questions have been great! We have time for just one more question today.

[Sep 26, 12:51 PM] Guest8532: Can benign cysts become cancerous?

[Sep 26, 12:53 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Benign cysts are areas of fluid within your breast. These cysts are at no more risk of becoming cancer than any other area in your breast.

[Sep 26, 12:54 PM] EmoryHealthcare: That’s all the time we have for today. Thanks so much for joining us! As we mentioned, we’ll follow up with a blog post to answer any questions we didn’t get a chance to address today.

[Sep 26, 12:55 PM] EmoryHealthcare: Thanks for your questions!

[Sep 26, 12:58 PM] Guest3978: Thank you.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment, please call 404-778-7777.


Emory Glenn Family Breast Center at Winship Cancer Institute is dedicated to breast cancer prevention, detection and comprehensive treatment of breast health issues and breast cancer including aggressive forms of triple negative breast cancer.

Our breast cancer doctors and researchers are thought leaders in the field of breast cancer and are uniquely positioned to have access to the latest information on cancer care. The breast cancer program at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University offers multidisciplinary teams including oncology surgeons, radiologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, and advanced practice nurses with expertise in only breast cancer. There are a variety of treatment options for breast cancer; for some patients, a combination of treatment methods may be used.

 

Takeaways from Dr. Cohen’s “Advancements in Breast Imaging” Live Chat

Thank you to everyone who joined us for last week’s live web chat on “Advancements in Imaging for Early Breast Cancer Detection.” Dr. Michael Cohen, director, Division of Breast Imaging for Emory’s Department of Radiology, discussed the latest in breast imaging screening and technology.

Questions varied from ,“What are the current breast screening guidelines?” to “What is tomosynthesis and when is it the right choice for screening?” Below are just a few of the questions and answers from the chat. Make sure to view the chat transcript for the whole discussion.

Question: What are the current breast cancer screening guidelines?

Michael Cohen, MDAnswer:
Women aged 40 and younger should have a clinical breast exam at least every 3 years. All women aged 40 and over should get a yearly screening mammogram, clinical breast exam and perform a monthly breast self-examination.

 

Question:
When is breast tomosynthesis the right choice for screening? And how does tomosynthesis compare to an MRI in diagnosing cancer?

Michael Cohen, MDAnswer:
Digital Tomosynthesis (3D mammography) is an improvement on traditional 2D mammography. Rather than the traditional single view of a breast in 2D mammography, 3D mammography obtains a series of very thin 1 mm sections of the breast. This allows us to look at the breast as if we were viewing pages of a book and gives a much more accurate look inside. If tomosynthesis is available at your breast imaging facility, it is an excellent way to screen.

Studies have shown that 3D mammography permits detections of more cancers, while at the same time reducing the number of unnecessary call-backs to evaluate lesions that are not cancer. This is a win-win for the patient. MRI screening is reserved for a limited number of patients at high risk.

Question:
What about the radiation exposure for these types of test [tomosynthesis]; is it different from traditional mammograms?

Michael Cohen, MDAnswer:
With current technology, a patient receives both a 2D and a 3D mammogram at the same time. The addition of 3D about doubles the radiation exposure compared to 2D alone, but is still within FDA guidelines for mammography.

Also, some very exciting technology is on the horizon that will permit us to create a 2D mammogram from a 3D mammogram using sophisticated computers. When that becomes available, we will only need to do a 3D mammogram, thereby reducing the radiation exposure to the original level.

If you missed this informative chat with Dr. Cohen, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript.

If you have any questions for Dr. Cohen, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in our comments area below!

Advancements in Imaging for Early Breast Cancer Detection

Advancements in Breast Imaging ChatBreast cancer is the most common cancer among American women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the breast care specialists across Emory Healthcare want you to know the importance of screening and early detection.

The American Cancer Society recommends that women (without breast cancer symptoms), age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year as long as they are in good health. Getting yearly screening mammograms increases the chance of detecting cancers in the early stages, before they start to cause symptoms. By detecting cancer early, screening exams also help increase the chance of survival and lower the risk of mortality.

At Emory Healthcare, we are proud to offer patients with leading breast screening techniques, including the latest in breast imaging technology, called tomosynthesis, or 3D mammography.

Learn more about breast screening guidelines and advancements in breast imaging by joining us on Tuesday, October 21 at 12:00 pm EST for a live web chat on “Advancements in Imaging for Early Breast Cancer Detection.” Dr. Michael Cohen, Director, Division of Breast Imaging for Emory’s Department of Radiology, will be available to answer questions such as: what is the latest in breast imaging technology? When should I start getting screened? To register for the chat, click here.

Also, during October, the Emory Breast Imaging Centers are offering extended and weekend hours for women needing a screening mammogram. Dates and details are below:

Extended Hours: Thursday, October 9, Tuesday, October 21, Thrusday October 23; 7:30 a.m – 7:00 p.m. at the Emory Breast Imaging Center on Clifton Road.

Saturday Hours: October 18, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Emory University Hospital Midtown.

Registration: To schedule an appointment, call 404-778-PINK (7465). Standard rates apply.

Chat Details:

Date: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Time: 12:00- 1:00 pm EST
Chat Leader: Dr. Michael Cohen
Chat Topic: Advancements in Imaging for Early Breast Cancer Detection

Chat Sign Up

Takeaways from Dr. Saba’s Head and Neck Cancer Chat

Thanks to everyone who joined us on Tuesday, June 24, for our live online chat on “Risk factors, symptoms and treatment options for head and neck cancer” led by Nabil Saba, MD, Chief of Head and Neck Oncology at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), head and neck cancers account for approximately three percent of all cancers in the U.S. During the chat, Dr. Saba addressed some of your questions relating to risk factors, symptoms and the latest research for head and neck cancer. See all of Dr. Saba’s answers by checking out the chat transcript! Here are just a few highlights from the chat:

Question: What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer? How do I know if I need to go get checked out?

Nabil Saba, MDDr. Saba: Symptoms include having a lump in the neck, persistent changes in your voice over time, difficulty swallowing, and unusual pain in the neck/throat area (pain that doesn’t seem to get better with time). These are some common symptoms, so if you’re experiencing any of these, it would probably be a good idea to talk to your physician.

 

Question: Are there particular factors or traits that may pre-dispose a person to head or neck cancers?

Nabil Saba, MDDr. Saba: There are certain well-defined risk factors for head and neck cancer, including a history of smoking or alcohol consumption. It has also been observed that HPV-related oropharynx cancer is increasing in Caucasian males, whereas oral tongue cancer seems to be increasing in Caucasian females. While there is an increased risk of head and neck cancer in these groups of people, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are at high risk if you fall into one of these groups.
 
If you missed out on this live chat, be sure to check out the full list of questions and answers on the web transcript. You can also visit www.emoryhealthcare.org/cancer for more information on cancer treatment at Winship at Emory.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer ChatHead and neck cancer includes a collective group of cancers occurring in the head or neck region, ranging from the nasal cavity and sinuses, to the back of the throat, including the oral cavity, tonsils, base of the tongue, nasopharynx, hypopharynx and larynx.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), head and neck cancers account for approximately three percent of all cancers in the U.S. Studies show that these cancers are more common in people over the age of 50 and three times more common in men than in women; however, if diagnosed early, head and neck cancer is often curable.

Recently, a growing number of cancers occurring in the base of the tongue and tonsils have been linked to human papillomavirus (HPV), which is already a well known risk factor for cervical cancer in women. HPV-related head and neck cancer is a distinct type of cancer and so far has been diagnosed more in men than women.

Join Nabil Saba, MD, Chief of Head and Neck Oncology at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, as he hosts a live chat on “Risk Factors, Symptoms and Treatment Options for Head and Neck Cancer.” Dr. Saba will be available to answer all of your questions such as:

  • What are the known risk factors linked to head and neck cancer?
  • What are the symptoms of head and neck cancer?
  • How is head and neck cancer diagnosed?
  • Can head and neck cancer be prevented?

Chat Details:

Date: Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Time: 12:30- 1:30 pm EST
Chat Leader: Dr. Nabil Saba
Chat Topic: Risk Factors, Symptoms and Treatment Options for Head and Neck Cancer

Chat Sign Up

Survivorship Care Plan- Are You Prepared? Take-Aways from Web Chat

Cancer Survivorship SupportRecently, I conducted a chat with Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University on the Effects of Chemo and Radiation on Cancer Survivors. In 1978, as a child, I was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. I received radiation and chemotherapy at that time that resulted in my development of significant late side effects in my adult life.

The participants asked some great questions. One particular question we did not have time to answer was,

“Did you find a survivorship care plan an effective tool for you or your parents once you moved from active treatment?”

For me, a cancer treatment summary or a survivorship care plan was extremely helpful after my active treatment. Without the knowledge from my parents and their guidance, I would not have been able to properly prepare a care plan.

I recommend that every cancer survivor become well informed and secure a treatment summary and survivorship care plan.  Consider it the first step in accepting responsibility for your personal health and well-being after cancer treatment.

A Cancer Treatment Summary should include the following information at a minimum:

  • Identifiers for you (name, medical record number and birthdate)
  • A description of your cancer diagnosis including pathology and staging information
  • A list of all treatments you have received (surgery, chemotherapy, biological therapy, hormonal therapy, and/or radiation therapy)
  • All dates and doses of treatment you received  (i.e. cumulative doses of anthracyclines)
  • Any significant side effects you experienced during treatment
  • Contact name and phone number of a member of your family or close friend
  • Names and Contact information of all providers involved in your care

A Survivorship Care Plan should include the following information at a minimum:

  • A Treatment Summary
  • A plan for long term follow-up including appointments and testing you will need and when you should have them
  • A list of any long term side effects that you need to be aware of and ways to handle them (including physical issues as well as emotional and social issues you may experience)

For more information on how to prepare your survivorship plan and the benefits of having one, check out the chat transcript.

About Stephanie Zimmerman

Stephanie’s personal experience as a child diagnosed and treated for Ewing’s Sarcoma in the late 1970’s led her to become a nurse serving the physical and psychosocial needs of children and their families along the cancer trajectory. In April 2008, Stephanie’s heart failed because of the chest radiation and Doxorubicin used to cure her Ewing’s Sarcoma three decades prior. Unable to return to clinical practice following a heart transplant, yet unwilling to abandon her passion for the survivor population, Stephanie partnered with Judy Bode of Grand Rapids, MI in the founding of myHeart, yourHands, Inc. [MHYH]

Related Resources

The Effects of Chemo and Radiation on Survivors Web Chat

I am a survivor. I beat Ewing’s sarcoma, a childhood cancer, which I was diagnosed with at 8 years old. I fought the cancer with an intense treatment plan that included 6 weeks of radiation therapy followed by 7 cycles of multi – agent chemotherapy. As a result of the aggressive treatment plan, I developed heart failure and ultimately had to receive a heart transplant. I beat the odds and am here to tell my story of survivorship!

Join me on Tuesday, February 19 from 12-1pm for a live, interactive chat about weathering the storms of cancer. Despite the side effects that have impacted my life greatly, long after the completion of my therapy, I am bubbling with hope and smiling about thoughts of my future.

About Stephanie Zimmerman

Stephanie is a patient and family advisor for the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. She is also a cancer and heart failure survivor and late effects cancer educator. She co –founded My Heart, yourHands, Inc., a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to equipping survivors with late effects after cancer treatment.

 

Related Links

Get All Your Breast Cancer Questions Answered Live & Online!

Breast Cancer Online ChatThe American Cancer Society estimates that in 2012, a total of 229,060 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in both men and women. In honor of October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to help our community get their questions answered, we are hosting an online chat on the topic of breast cancer.

Join Heather Pinkerton, RN, BSN, OCN and Nurse Navigator for the Emory Breast Center, on Tuesday, October 16, 2012 to get all of your questions on breast cancer—ranging from diagnosis, to treatment, to survivorship—answered.

Date: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Time: 12 noon – 1:00 pm EST
Chat Leader: Heather Pinkerton, RN, BSN, OCN and Nurse Navigator for the Emory Breast Center
Chat Topic: Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Related Resources:

Join Us for a Web Chat on Cancer Survivorship & Intimacy

Cancer Survivorship & IntimacyDon’t miss it! Up next in our series of Live Chats for cancer survivors and their families, we will focus on the topic of intimacy. Cancer treatments can wreak havoc on body and mind, thus impacting how we feel about affection and intimacy.

Alice Mullins from Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University’s survivorship program will lead a discussion on this very important and often under-addressed topic.

Cancer Survivorship & Intimacy Web Chat Details:

Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Time: 12:00 (noon) – 1:00 pm EST
Host: Alice Mullins, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University Survivorship Program
Topic: Cancer Survivorship – Intimacy TRANSCRIPT

The Role of Support Groups in Cancer Survivorship

Cancer Survivorship Peer Partners Web ChatAs an Oncology Social Worker at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, I provide resources and support to patients and their families throughout the cancer journey. During my first visit with a new patient, I often suggest that he or she try out one of the many support groups offered at Winship or in the community. The response I get from this suggestion varies depending on the patient from enthusiasm to absolute fear.  As a facilitator of two support groups at Winship, I am admittedly a strong advocate of joining a group. However, I understand the apprehension some feel towards sharing the ups and downs of the cancer journey with other people.

For those uncomfortable with participating in support groups, I often outline the benefits of using support groups as a method to cope and connect to others in similar situations. Research from The American Cancer Society provides the following about support groups:

  • Support groups can enhance the quality of life for people with cancer by providing information and support to overcome feelings of aloneness and helplessness.
  • Support groups can help reduce tension, anxiety, fatigue and confusion.
  • There is a strong link between group support and greater tolerance of cancer treatment and treatment compliance.
  • People with cancer are better able to deal with their disease when supported by others.

Dr. Sujatha Murali, Assistant Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Winship, endorses the use of support groups. Dr. Murali states, “support groups are an integral part of treating the whole patient. At Emory, we believe in a multidisciplinary approach to cancer care, which not only includes physicians and nurses, but social workers, pharmacists, and nutritionists. We believe this approach results in the best chance of treatment success.”

Still not convinced joining a support group is right for you? Fortunately, support groups come in different forms and sizes. For those uncomfortable with face-to-face group settings, online or telephone groups are great alternatives. Some groups are lead by professional clinicians while others are organized by cancer survivors themselves. Groups can be disease, age or gender specific and some meet weekly, monthly or have no time limit at all.  With all these options available, there’s bound to be a support group to fit anyone’s needs! And if you’re still not sure where to turn, you can always contact me or other social workers at Winship with your questions or by using the comments field below. You can also join Joan Giblin, Director of the Survivorship Program at the Winship Cancer Institute in our upcoming online chat on the Cancer Survivorship and Peer Partners Program at Winship.

Interested in joining a support group, but do not know how to select the right one? The first step is to speak with your oncology social worker!  If you aren’t sure who your social worker is, simply ask your doctor or nurse to point him or her out. Most cancer centers have oncology social workers dedicated to support your psychosocial needs and overall well-being.  Some recommended and approved groups are available through the following sites:

To close, I’d like to share a quote I often share with my patients. It’s out of Mr. Fred Rogers’s book, Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers: Things to Remember Along the Way. He writes, “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we’re not alone.”

The cancer journey can be overwhelming, especially if traveled alone. The benefit of allowing others to provide support and care can be life-changing, and possibly life-saving. Join us as we kick-off some of our new support groups, including the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Support Group on Thursday, June 14, 2012. For more information, please see visit our website at http://winshipcancer.emory.edu/groups.

About the Author
Margaret “Maggie” K. Hughes is a Licensed Master of Social Worker at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. She works with Drs. Hawk, Murali, Kucuk, Carthon and El-Rayes. Maggie facilitates the Pancreatic Cancer Support group and co-facilitates the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Support Group at Winship.

Related Resources: