I have just been diagnosed and am overwhelmed by decisions, tests and treatment. What can I do?
Call one of our nurse navigators, or call the “Support of Survivor’s” help line. The navigator can speak with you individually or refer you to our weekly preoperative class that will discuss these issues. In addition, we have survivors that are available to listen and share their story.
How can I pay my bills if I cannot work? I may also lose my insurance.
Many women are able to continue working while undergoing treatment and some cannot. Not being able to work is a major concern. We are blessed in this area to have a financial assistance program for women who qualify for help with bills. Funds are provided by the Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition and administered through the American Cancer Society. Also, if you have a breast cancer diagnosis and meet certain criteria, you may qualify for a special category of TennCare. You may also check to see if you qualify for a gas card to help offset the cost of driving to treatments. Contact the nurse navigator program to see what other options are available to help you.
What is mammosite radiation?
Mammosite is a type of partial breast radiation that is delivered to the lumpectomy cavity site twice a day for five days instead of the whole breast radiation, which is daily for 6 weeks. If you are interested in this option, speak with your physicians to see if you are a candidate for this new type of radiation.
Will my hair fall out?
Many types of breast cancer exist, and within the types, different stages require different treatments. Not all women who receive chemotherapy will lose their hair. After reviewing your tissue samples and tests, your physician(s) will make a treatment plan based on your results that will be your unique treatment recipe. If you require a chemotherapy drug that causes hair loss, there are many reputable stores to fit you with a proper wig. The American Cancer Society offers a free Look Good Feel Better class to demonstrate wigs, scarves, and turban techniques as well as makeup application.
I’m still a woman! Can I have my breast replaced with plastic surgery? Do I need an extra surgery now?
Yes, you are definitely still a woman. Discuss options for reconstructive surgery with your surgeon. You will need to see your breast or general surgeon plus a plastic/reconstructive surgeon. Many women start the reconstructive process at the time of her initial surgery. Others wait until all treatment is completed. Specialty bras and clothing to accommodate a prosthesis is an option.. We are fortunate to have several boutiques to help fill this need.