Breast Cancer Support Groups

Breast Cancer Support Groups


Hello. My name is Gale Uchiyama, and I am
a licensed clinical social worker at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center. I’ve been facilitating support groups for
women with breast cancer for over 17 years, and running these groups is one of the most
rewarding aspects of my job. As someone who’s recently diagnosed with breast
cancer, you may feel very overwhelmed with the diagnosis and the task of having to learn
so much about breast cancer treatment. By meeting other women who are a few steps
ahead of you in their care plan, you may feel relieved to hear someone else expressing the
same thoughts that you’re expressing. By listening to other group members, as a
new participant you may often feel more in control and more are able to develop coping
strategies to help you with your own situation. The women who come to our groups tell us that
the groups provide them with a sense of community and help them develop a feeling of empowerment
about their own situation. They share tips on dealing with hair loss,
fatigue, and hot flashes, and feel that the group is a safe place to talk about issues
such as body image, relationships, and their own fears. We laugh and sometimes we cry together. It’s
always amazing for me to see the bonds that are forged through these groups, and especially
to see how women who are in the midst of treatment reach out to someone else. We presently hold groups for women who are
actively receiving treatment, and we also have a post-treatment support group as we
have found that women need extra support after treatment is completed. We also have a Younger Women’s Breast Cancer
Support Group. This group focuses on issues of fertility, body image, parenting young
children, being single, and dating. I hope that I’ve given you enough information
for you to decide if you’d like to check out one of our groups. If you have questions, feel free to contact
me at (510) 204-4330.

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