Q. I completed my main treatment for triple-negative breast cancer and am now dealing with anxiety about it coming back. I don't want to burden my family or friends and know I need help. Are there places that can help me?

A.

Thank you for bringing up this very important topic; it is a concern that is very frequently voiced by individuals who have completed their treatment for TNBC. Although many women who have had breast cancer struggle with fears of recurrence, I feel that recurrence concerns are especially pronounced in the post-treatment TNBC population. Many women who have had TNBC indicate that the lack of recurrence prevention available (such as the hormonal therapies typically offered to women with hormone-receptor positive breast cancers) compounds their recurrence concerns and may bring about feelings of helplessness. I commend you for recognizing you need some additional supports at this time.

There are many organizations that can assist those who are in the post-treatment phase of TNBC. First, CancerCare offers free psychosocial supports for survivors that can include counseling, educational materials and an online support group for those who are post-treatment survivors of any cancer diagnosis. For more information about any of CancerCare’s free support services, please contact our Hopeline at 800-813-4673 or view our services online.

The TNBC Foundation offers a very active online forum for individuals in treatment as well as survivors, and can be a place to access peer support. Additionally, you may consider “peer matching”, where you can be matched to another woman who has undergone a similar experience to have one-on-one phone calls. Sometimes it can be exceedingly helpful to talk to someone else who has “been there” and understands what you are feeling. Two organizations that provide this service are Living Beyond Breast Cancer (888-753-5222) and SHARE (844-275-7427). The Young Survivors Coalition is another organization that provides resources and supports to those post-treatment, focusing on women who were diagnosed at a younger age.

Finally, some post-treatment women find that they benefit from individual counseling to address the concerns and emotions that arise after treatment ends. If you’d like to find professionals in your area that have expertise working with individuals impacted by cancer, you can call the American Psychosocial Oncology Society (APOS) at 866-276-7443. Please know that you are not alone in experiencing recurrence concerns, and that there is support available to you.

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