Health Watch -- Life After Cancer (Part 2)
Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.
Helping others may be good medicine for cancer survivors.
At UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, doctors have found that one way of helping breast cancer survivors to cope with the aftermath of their disease and treatment is enlisting them to help others.
In the Coping with Breast Cancer program, the Southwestern Center for Breast Care recruits cancer survivors who have been through surgeries and follow-up treatments to help newly diagnosed patients and their families as they go through the treatment process. Survivors serve as resources for new patients as they face difficult decisions about treatment, such as whether or not to have full mastectomies or whether to have reconstructive surgery right away.
Doctors have found that it's not just the new patients who benefit from this program. The survivors get an improved sense of well-being and a better emotional outlook on life after cancer from helping others. Sharing their experiences helps them feel like they're giving something back and gives them a stronger sense of being a true survivor.
Although October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this is a topic we shouldn't forget about the rest of the year. Doctors at UT Southwestern say the most important thing for women to remember is that mammograms help save lives.
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