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Guides to Understanding Breast Cancer

In this section, learn more about our guides to understanding breast cancer that address the unique needs of young women. Read descriptions of the books and brochures, download free PDFs and order single copies or in bulk at our  online marketplace.

Please use the links below to access the guides of interest to you. You may also  access our full library of guides addressing the unique needs of women newly diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and women with metastatic (advanced) breast cancer. 

Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns

The Guide to Understanding Financial Concerns will help you navigate private and public health insurance plans and explains how to get insurance if you don't have it. Discover what to do if your claim is denied, how to access federal and private programs, when to use COBRA and disability and how to handle the "hidden" costs of breast cancer. Available online only.

Guide for the Newly Diagnosed

Learn the basics of breast cancer for the recently diagnosed. Find out about breast cancer types, pathology reports, the medical team, cancer stages, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapies, targeted therapies, clinical trials and second opinions. Explore questions to help you make informed decisions and find emotional support.

Guide to Understanding Treatment Decisions

Learn how diagnostic tests and pathology tests help your doctor build a tailored plan for your breast cancer treatment. Find out what questions to explore so you can make empowered decisions about surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy and targeted therapy.

Guide to Understanding Hormonal Therapy

This guide explores medical and surgical options for early-stage breast cancer. Learn about the role of hormones in the body and in the development of estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Find out how tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors and ovarian suppression and ablation work to decrease your risk for recurrence. Equally important, find out about side effects, and get practical tips and advice on how to manage them. 

Guide to Understanding Intimacy and Sexuality

Learn practical ways to manage the sexual side effects of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, how to talk to your partner or healthcare providers about sexual concerns, and where to go to find the resources you need.  

Guide to Understanding Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Our Guide to Understanding Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, created in partnership with the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation, offers information on common terms to know, risk factors, treatment basics, myths about this diagnosis and post-treatment concerns. Read the experiences of real women affected by triple-negative breast cancer and tips from healthcare professionals.

Guide to Understanding Lymphedema

Learn the signs and symptoms of breast cancer-related lymphedema, ways to manage your lymphedema risk, treatments for lymphedema, how lymphedema can impact your emotions and how to pay for lymphedema care.

Guide to Understanding Fear of Recurrence

The Guide to Understanding Fear of Recurrence explores the common worry that breast cancer could return. Find out why some milestones, holidays and situations trigger an emotional response; how to find support; and methods to manage your feelings.

Guide to Understanding Insomnia and Fatigue

The Guide to Understanding Insomnia and Fatigue will help you learn how sleeping problems related to cancer and its treatments may impact your life. Explore tips on improving your sleep and maintaining your energy, ways to talk with a healthcare professional, using lifestyle changes and medicines to manage insomnia and fatigue and ways to move forward. Available online only.

Guide to Understanding Bone Health

Find out how breast cancer treatments impact your risk for osteopenia and osteoporosis. Get practical tools to maintain and build bone mineral density after chemotherapy, hormonal therapy or ovarian suppression. Available online only. 

Guide to Understanding Your Emotions

If you are newly diagnosed, the Guide to Understanding Your Emotions will help you make sense of your feelings. This brochure covers common emotions, signs of anxiety and depression, consulting a healthcare professional, responding to emotions, understanding your feelings after initial treatment ends and practical strategies for moving forward.

Guide to Understanding Breast Cancer Treatment Research Studies

Learn the basics of cancer clinical trials, weigh the pros and cons of taking part in breast cancer research and explore questions to ask your doctors. Get understandable information about clinical trial phases, research protocols, randomization, blinding, informed consent and safety laws. Available online only.