Patients and their family members meet one-on-one with physicians specialized in breast cancer care. The team is comprised of Physicians, nurses, behavioral healthcare consultant, social worker, psychologists and a psychiatrist. Care plans are individualized to the patient/family needs and may include:
- Support and medical information at time of diagnosis;
- Assistance in decision making regarding treatment options;
- Assistance in case coordination with the oncology team and other health care providers;
- Help in managing concerns resulting from surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormonal therapy (e.g., fatigue, chemo-induced menopause, lymphedema, breast reconstruction options);
- Counseling for fertility, sexuality and body image;
- Coaching in recovery strategies, nutrition and life style management;
- Access to appointments with psychosocial professionals for counselling regarding, for example: fear of recurrence, anxiety, depression and challenges in relationships;
- Access to a patient resource library of books, CDs, DVDs and videos; and linkages to community resources.
To help patients to make informed decisions about options available in their treatment and recovery process in order to achieve optimal wellness in all aspects of their lives (physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual).
Recovery Group Program
A Recovery Group Program consisting of three hour sessions for 12 weeks with a maximum of ten to twelve participants.
Each week, participants are guided by the two facilitators through an exploration of that weeks learning topic. Participants have the opportunity to learn how to self-care, nutrition, exercise, and stress management which can have a positive impact on their recovery process and even reduce their risk of cancer recurrence. This unique change management program will assist participants in implementing these practices more fully into their daily life as they make the transition from illness to health and wellness.
During the 12-week program, women are equipped with the information, tools, strategies, and support they require to reconcile their cancer experience and to successfully manage other life challenges as they arise. They are empowered to actively participate in their own health and well-being, and they experience enhanced physical, emotional, mental, relational, and spiritual wellness as a result. There is an improvement in overall health outcomes for the women who participate in the program.
The curriculum, uniquely developed by the BCSC team, addresses topics such as:
- Exploring Recovery;
- Managing Treatment Side Effects;
- Body Image and Sexuality;
- Loss and Grief;
- Fear of Recurrence Anxiety and Depression;
- Spiritual Wellness;
- Developing Psychological Strategies for Enhancing Wellness
Healthy Living after Breast Cancer Program
The Healthy Living After/With Breast Cancer Program provides a structured and individualized wellness program for breast cancer patients who have completed active treatment. Patients complete a wellness self-assessment questionnaire to gather data in their lifestyle/wellness practices as well as five dimensions of their health: physical; emotional; mental; relational and spiritual. Patients then meet one-on-one with a nurse who has specialized knowledge in the field of breast cancer support and care to review their results. Together, they develop a comprehensive wellness plan that addresses nutrition, exercise and monitoring risk reduction strategies.
Special Projects and Research
In addition to the three core programs, special projects and research will be undertaken based on the strategic priorities of the BCSC, community need, feedback from patients, and the availability of funding. The Foundation submits proposals to fund special projects directly related to the mission and vision of the Foundation.