Women Living with Cancer Support Group
We, Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation (BCSCF), envision the framework for a support group which we will refer to as women living with cancer (WLC) which would be based on BCSCF’s Recovery Group Program (RGP) which is an intensive wellness program for women who have completed active breast cancer treatment. The present 12-week survivorship course consists of weekly three hour sessions co-facilitated by a physician and a psychologist with specialized knowledge and professional training related to breast cancer. The program has a positive impact on the participants coping strategies and ability to have maximum health benefits in all aspects of their lives. BCSCF pursues funding sources in order to provide the program free of charge to patients, many of whom are at a time when they are financially compromised due to their illness.
The curriculum is based on a “whole person care” approach and explores five dimensions of wellness: physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual. Its emphasis is on the provision of information, resources, tools and strategies for program participants. The RGP is a change management course that empowers the women to act as change agents and active participants in their transition from illness to wellness – from survival to thrivorship.
The benefits to women participating in this program are numerous and far reaching. We believe that the same principles which provide an enhanced quality of life for “thrivors” can be applied to a program for women living with cancer due to metastases of their breast cancer.
Who Will it Benefit?
Women Living with Breast Cancer will be designed specifically to increase the capacity of individuals living along the breast cancer trajectory to proactively identify and address strategies for increased wellness and quality of life. The WLC Program will also build the capacity of health care professionals to understand and address issues of individuals who are living with Stage IV breast cancer as a chronic condition. Increased capacity of health care professionals to address these needs will also be built through the provision of evidence-based assessment tools and patient resources. Assessment of the pilot project will enable it to be administered strategically and efficiently within the multidisciplinary team at BCSCF thereby increasing capacity and ensuring sustainability as more individuals access this program.
As part of the Sustainability Plan, BCSCF will monitor ongoing feedback from program participants and modify/add to the programs materials as new resources are identified.
It is expected that this group will be offered twice a year (spring and fall) for 6-10 women living with metastases of their Breast Cancer. Providing therapeutic support in a group setting decreases the individual support appointments for these patients and will increase the physician capacity to see new Breast Cancer patients.