Published May 12, 2014 By the Foundation
June 18, 2014 7-8:30 p.m. EDT
With a diagnosis of breast cancer, your identity as an individual person disappears and you are suddenly a patient. The world as you knew it is forever changed. The next weeks, months, and even years become a whirlwind of appointments for medical consultations, procedures, and treatments. And somewhere between treatment and trying to reassemble your world, you realize that you will never be the same. Your feet burn. You’re tired all the time. Your sexual appetite is gone. In 2013, Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research put out a call to breast cancer survivors for input about the side effects they experienced following breast cancer treatment. Within weeks, the Foundation received more than 3,300 responses, covering a wide range of issues, many of which were long-term and debilitating. Numbness ranked #3 in issues reported. Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research is distilling the voice of the survivors into a formal questionnaire for the Foundation’s Health of Women [HOW] Study™, in an effort to document the cost of the cure and focus attention on the debilitating side effects of today’s cancer treatments. [HOW] is the largest online breast cancer study open to anyone aged 18 and older that is tracking personal and family health history, reproductive health, weight and exercise, environmental factors, and other potential risk factors. On June 18, Dr. Susan Love Foundation for Breast Cancer Research and the Neuropathy Association will co-host a Facebook chat on the Neuropathy association Facebook page that focuses on neuropathy as a consequence of breast cancer treatment. Dr. Susan Love will provide insight into the issues, including: – Making the connection between your breast cancer treatment and collateral damage – Signs, symptoms, and possible causes of treatment-related neuropathy – The Collateral Damage project: why is it important? – The doctor/patient conversation – New American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) guidelines for treatment of neuropathy The goal of the chat is to increase awareness of the connection between neuropathy and other serious side effects and breast cancer treatment. Ultimately, we wish to encourage cancer patients and physicians to engage in more detailed and realistic conversations about treatment protocols and the trade-offs in terms of side effects that impact quality of life.