As a breast cancer patient, you most likely feel overwhelmed. Cleveland Clinic's breast cancer specialists want to help you manage your disease, from beginning to end. In addition to offering state of the art diagnostic techniques and breast cancer treatment methods, our breast cancer specialists also offer an array of resources that can help patients cope with the demands of breast cancer. Patients are encouraged to take advantage of these resources to ease the burden of managing breast cancer and breast cancer treatment.
Psychosocial Services for Women with Breast Cancer
A diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating. Times of particular challenge include when you are first diagnosed, when you have finished your breast cancer treatment or if you experience a recurrence of your cancer. It is normal to feel shock, anxiety, or sadness in reaction to breast cancer. Even if you have a supportive network of family and friends, you may need a place to discuss your feelings. Counseling can be especially helpful when breast cancer disrupts your relationships, sex life or plans for childbearing. It can be comforting to hear another woman’s story, and feel less alone. If you experience depression or anxiety, you may improve more rapidly with the help of counseling or medication.
Cleveland Clinic Breast Center offers a free resource called a patient navigator. A patient navigator assists the patient throughout the entire breast cancer journey. The role of the patient navigator is to help the patient through the diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care and any obstacles that might arise. A patient navigator provides a support team to help manage a variety of issues or concerns regarding breast cancer.
A patient navigator can help:
- Connect patients with the services needed within the Cleveland Clinic health system, community agencies and elsewhere if necessary.
- Assist in obtaining breast cancer information.
- Schedule and coordinate appointments related to diagnosis of breast cancer.
- Assist with counseling needs and provide emotional support.
- Connect patients with resources to assist with financial hardship or other needs.
Contact the Breast Center Patient Navigator
Nancy Greve, RN CBPN-IC
Breast Cancer Support Group»
Rene Barrat Gordon, MSSA
Ongoing monthly drop-in group to provide mutual support for breast cancer survivors. This group does not include family members. There is no charge.
Breast Cancer Support Group
Taussig Cancer Institute
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland OH 44195
Third Monday of every month | 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Social Work Counseling»
Rene Barrat-Gordon, MSSA
Julie Dimitrov, LISW-S
This is individualized counseling to help with the day to day problems encountered during treatment. There is no charge, but an appointment is necessary.
Psychotherapy, which provides a more intensive treatment for emotional reactions to breast cancer, is also available. A woman may benefit from several sessions of counseling if she feels overwhelmed, if the diagnosis brings up issues from her past, or if it causes conflict in couple or family relationships. There is a charge for this service, but many insurance companies cover at least a portion of the cost.
Referrals to the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology are available to evaluate and treat depression, strong anxiety or other emotional problems that may require medication or intensive psychiatric treatment. Please discuss this with your medical team or call 216.444.5812.
For women who have a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, and are concerned about genetic risk factors, information and counseling are available through our Risk Assessment Program at 216.444.5686.
Ask your social worker about other local support services. Frequently requested numbers include:
American Cancer Society, Cleveland
The Gathering Place, Seeds of Support Group
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as medical advice or as a replacement for a consultation with a Cleveland Clinic breast cancer specialist. It has not been designed to replace a physician’s independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.