Young women with breast cancer have unique needs and questions. That’s why Riverside Health System has partnered with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national breast cancer nonprofit organization that provides trusted information and a community of support, to host a series of virtual workshops in October 2020 for young women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45.

“Breast cancer is not easy to deal with for any woman,” said Elizabeth Jenkins, RN, Riverside’s Breast Cancer Navigator in Newport News and Williamsburg who will lead the workshops. “But there are unique challenges for young women.”

This survivorship workshop series will provide answers and resources on some of the most common concerns for young women, Jenkins said, such as intimacy, early menopause, the long-term effects of treatment and self-care after breast cancer.

The workshop will include the following sessions:

  • “Hot and Bothered: Coping with Early Menopause” on Tuesday, Oct. 6 at 6 p.m. will provide women with tips on how to manage hot flashes, mood changes, trouble sleeping and other symptoms of early menopause due to breast cancer.
  • “Stay Alert: Managing the Long-Term Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment” on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. will outline the side effects of breast cancer treatment that may last years after treatment is complete and what women should watch for and when to report to their provider.
  • “Let’s Talk About Breast Cancer and Intimacy” on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. will dive into the sex life changes common after a breast cancer diagnosis and during treatment. Attendees will learn how to talk about these concerns and get tips on how to improve sexual health.
  • “Self-Care After Breast Cancer” on Saturday, Oct. 24 at 10 a.m. will encourage attendees to take care of themselves physically, mentally and spiritually. Attendees will learn the important role exercise, nutrition, cancer and genetic screening can play in their health and in life after breast cancer.

While the focus on curing disease is of utmost importance during the treatment phase following a diagnosis, life during and after breast cancer treatment can be challenging in ways that patients don’t always think about asking their providers about.

These workshops and seminars, Jenkins said, allows Riverside to bring women added resources to help make their journey from diagnosis to survivor as smooth as possible.

“It’s important to take time to bring this support to women,” Jenkins said. “Dealing with breast cancer can be scary, but we are here for you.”

Women can sign up for as few or as many of the sessions offered in the virtual series at riversideonline.com/survivorship.

While the program is targeted at younger women and the content will be reflective of survivors who are 45 and younger, Jenkins said, all women are invited to attend.

All sessions will be held on ZOOM. After registration, attendees will receive a ZOOM link for each session they wish to attend. Call 757-594-4229 for questions about these sessions.

Published: September 15, 2020