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    Breast Cancer: Get the Support You Need

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    How Can I Make My Life Better?

    If you’re having a hard time managing your cancer and treatment, seek the help you need as soon as you can. Take action early on -- that will help you understand and deal with the many effects of your illness.

    And when you manage your stress, that will help you keep a positive outlook on life.

    What Types of Help Are Available?

    Lots of professionals and groups can provide support to you or your family

    Social workers are just one part of the caregiving team who can offer treatment in a compassionate setting. They can help you and your family talk about any concerns about your diagnosis, treatment, or personal situation.

    They can provide education, counseling about lifestyle changes, and referrals to support groups. Your social worker can also help your family find a temporary place to stay near the hospital, provide information about community resources, and help you with other needs.

    Individual counselors. You may feel more comfortable talking one-on-one with a counselor about your illness and its impact on your life and relationships.

    Counseling services can help you or your family members talk about concerns and come up with ways to cope. Plus, mental health care professionals can create a treatment plan to meet your specific needs and gain a sense of control over your life and your quality of life. If necessary, they might prescribe you medicine to treat depression.

    Support groups can help you learn new ways of dealing with your illness.

    Sometimes, others who've been through similar experiences can explain things differently than your doctors do. And you'll gain strength in knowing that you're not facing this alone.

    Remember that others may share information or experiences that don't apply to you. So never replace your doctor's medical advice with that given to you by another patient.

    The American Cancer Society's Reach to Recovery program offers help to people with breast cancer. Trained volunteers who've had breast cancer themselves visit you at the doctor's request to lend support. Call 800-227-2345 for more information.

    A financial counselor can answer questions you may have about money issues related to your medical care.

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