To Life! is sensitive to the fact that not all women identify with the term Survivor and that each person has a right to define yourself whether you resonate with the term Survivor, Thriver, Fighter, Warrior, or a term of your choosing. We use the term survivorship because it is a growing area of study and interest for the very positive reason that more women are living longer than ever before and have unique issues and needs based on the life span following a cancer diagnosis. For women with metastatic cancer, To Life! acknowledges this may always include treatment and daily challenges not experienced by non-metastatic survivors.
Over 3.3 million breast cancer survivors/fighters are alive in the United States today. Advances in early detection and treatment are improving cancer outcomes, and more individuals are living years beyond a cancer diagnosis. An individual is considered a cancer survivor/fighter from the time of diagnosis until the end of life.
Cancer can influence every facet of a survivor’s/fighter’s life, presenting challenges that may impact your physical, psychological and spiritual well-being, relationships, career, financial and legal matters. Survivors have a significantly higher risk of developing second cancers and may be at an increased risk of other chronic diseases. Survivors typically report higher levels of depression and anxiety than non-survivors, and might also experience problems with employment, housing, access to benefits and keeping track of medical records. Finally, disparities in post-treatment cancer survivorship (as during diagnosis and treatment) can often exist among groups such as economically vulnerable individuals; racial and ethnic minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) individuals; people living in very rural areas; those with lower English proficiency; and adolescents and young adults.
A healthy lifestyle improves survival and quality of life and may include: staying physically active; a nutritious diet including fruits, vegetables, and adequate healthy fats; and avoiding smoking, second-hand smoke, and alcohol use. Survivors should be monitored for recurrence of the first cancer, screened for second cancers, and be educated about possible opportunities to undergo genetic testing and counseling, when appropriate. Survivors should have access to psycho-social support; and they may also need assistance with legal matters such as estate planning, divorce, and custody, benefits of insurance coverage, housing, and employment discrimination or termination.
To Life! Is committed to our survivor/fighter community. Please reach out to us to learn more about our programs, services, support, and events.
Your treatment may include surgery, treatments, medications that will affect your physical appearance. Let the To Life! boutique and fitting services assist you. We provide a private atmosphere for fittings in both our Wig boutiques and our Mastectomy boutiques.
Support groups provide a safe place to share feelings and information that remains confidential. Group facilitators guide women through thoughtful discussion. Surround yourself with women who understand.
Educational Programs (need copy here)
Metastatic (need copy here)
Younger Women (need copy here)
Survivorship wellness is critical to helping breast cancer survivors learn about and practice skills to optimize their health and wellness after treatment. Here are some additional resources about survivorship wellness:
- When Can I Say I'm a Breast Cancer Survivor?, verywellhealth
- Partner Resources, Young Survival Coalition
- Emotional Wellness: Where to Learn More, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Physical Activity: Moving On, Where to Learn More, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Health Promotion & Goal Setting: Where to Learn More, Hellen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
- Managing Stress: Where to Learn More, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Care Center
- Nutrition: Where to Learn More, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Care Center
- Sexual and Body Image Wellness: Where to Learn More, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Care Center
- Spiritual Wellness: Where to Learn More, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Care Center