Breast cancer presents a deep disruption to the normal life course of young women because, even once treatment is over, they now face many new issues. They are at the threshold of establishing their careers. They may naturally be considering life partners and starting a family. They may face not being able to have children. They ponder when to tell a potential partner that they are breast cancer survivors.
At Young Survival Coalition (YSC), we receive questions from women at all stages of their breast cancer journey, and what to expect from life after treatment is one of the most common topics that comes up. What side effects will linger? How will I feel emotionally? What does this mean for my sexuality and self-image?
A young woman may get many questions answered at follow-up medical visits, but as those appointments become less frequent, she may feel more anxious about what to look for and expect on her own. YSC continually strives to provide information to help support and inform young women in this phase of post-treatment and is proud to announce the release of our newest resource: What’s Next? A Young Woman’s Post-Treatment Navigator.
The creation of this guidebook was driven by a survey YSC administered in 2010. We were able to obtain feedback from almost 300 young women who’d completed treatment and many common themes emerged. As a result, What’s Next? explores a wide range of topics, including: potential long-term side effects like fatigue, chemo brain, early menopause, lymphedema and weight management; understanding emotions, self-image, fear of recurrence and relationship changes; living a healthy lifestyle; financial and career planning; and interactive worksheets for creating a treatment summary and survivorship care plan.
YSC is also excited to offer, for the first time, an e-version of the guidebook, in addition to print copies. To learn more about ordering or downloading What’s Next?, visit:
Life after treatment may make a woman feel relieved, anxious, or both, but either way it is a time of change. YSC encourages our constituents to continue asking questions, seeking out support, and accessing available resources through programs like ResourceLink and SurvivorLink. We hope that What’s Next? will be a helpful tool in making that transition easier.
What’s Next? A Young Woman’s Post-Treatment Navigator is YSC’s most recent installment in the Navigator Series. The series aims to provide information for young women at all phases of breast cancer and currently includes the Newly Diagnosed Resource Kit and Treatment Navigator, as well as the Metastatic Navigator. A resource for long-term survivors is coming in 2013.