- Question from Sadie: At 48, my marriage of 30 years ended after my surgery and treatment. Are there support groups to help with self-esteem issues?
- Answers - Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. There are many support groups for breast cancer survivors. Some are online--you might look at Breastcancer.org and do a search under resources. You also might be able to find face to face groups in your community at the local hospital or the American Cancer Society.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. The Wellness Committees have chapters in many cities. Or the Y-Me, or Komen Foundation.
- Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D. If you cannot find a group of women with a similar history, you may want to talk to a mental health professional one-on-one about your unique situation.
- Marisa Weiss, M.D. The loss of self esteem is very common after a breast cancer diagnosis. Breast cancer forces you to stop in your tracks and re-examine everything. Many women, over time, do find ways to feel good about themselves again. It is a process that can be fostered by connecting to people you care about, to new people that may share your same concerns through a support group, connecting to doctors, nurses, psychologists and other professionals who have a lot of experience helping people with this important and manageable issue. Probably the most important first step is to decide that you need to be your own best friend. Stop being critical of yourself. Be more accepting of who you are, try to be more acknowledging of how wonderful you are, and give yourself credit—a LOT of credit—for all that you have been through. For everyone who has joined this conference today, you've already taken a very big and important step in helping yourself. And we hope that you can take the next step with the information we have provided, and with other resources on our website, www.breastcancer.org.
The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Intimacy and Sexuality featured Leslie R. Schover, Ph.D., and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about how breast cancer diagnosis and treatment affect your sex life.
Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2001.
The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.
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