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New Brochures Help You Take Charge of Your Health

If your New Year’s resolution is to empower yourself, go to today to download brochures on breast cancer research studies and managing symptoms and side effects

January 6, 2010

Written By Janine E. Guglielmino, MA, Senior Director, Programs and Partnerships

Living Beyond Breast Cancer is kicking off the New Year by releasing guides on breast cancer clinical trials, symptoms and side effects of metastatic disease and treatment decision-making.

Our Guide to Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment Research Studies demystifies the clinical trials process and helps you ask questions of your healthcare team. This brochure addresses important questions like when to sign up, what kinds of therapies are available, where to go to take part, what laws protect your rights and how to pay for treatment. Using clear language, we help you learn about phases, randomization, blinding and informed consent. Throughout the guide, hear from "voices of experience," women like you who considered taking part in research.

Understanding Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects of Advanced Breast Cancer focuses on the unique concerns of those of you coping with metastatic disease. Based on interviews with our volunteers, we report on the top three symptoms and treatment side effects—pain, fatigue, and depression and anxiety—and on other impacts of radiation, chemotherapy and hormonal and targeted therapies. We discuss hair loss, nausea and vomiting, digestive problems, concerns about the hands and feet, neutropenia, chemo brain, hot flashes, sexual challenges, bone pain, muscle and joint pain and more. Quotes provide insight from women who have “been there.”

We translated our popular Guide to Understanding Treatment Decisions, now available in English and in Spanish as the Guía de Living Beyond Breast Cancer Para Comprender las Decisiones de Tratamiento . If you are Spanish-speaking or are caring for someone who is, read the two versions side-by-side and learn together to interpret test results and create an individualized plan in the first weeks after diagnosis. Find out about the pathology report and results of genomic tests, paying for tests, working with a treatment team and making decisions about surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other treatments.

In 2010 we have four brochures planned, including the Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns, which you can preorder today from our Marketplace. Learn to navigate the maze of private and public health insurance plans, and what to do if your claim is denied. If you don’t have health insurance coverage, find out how to access programs. A section on job change or loss explores working during treatment, taking time off, and using COBRA or disability coverage should you lose or leave your job. Find out ways to get help for medical costs, and how to ask for support while protecting your privacy. The guide also addresses the hidden costs of treatment, like travel, living expenses, child care and other practical matters not covered by health insurance.

LBBC’s family of guides covers a variety of concerns, including triple-negative breast cancer, emotions and insomnia and fatigue. If you’re not sure where to start, read our Guide for the Newly Diagnosed, which offers an overview of the medical, emotional and practical concerns you face in the first months after a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Explore LBBC’s family of breast cancer guides.