Breast Cancer

Survivorship series for young women affected by breast cancer

Riverside has partnered with Living Beyond Breast Cancer to host the Breast Cancer Survivorship Series for young women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45. These workshops address many of the most common concerns for young women such as intimacy, early menopause, the long-term effects of treatment and self-care after breast cancer.

Support groups

The Breast Cancer Support Group meets the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Riverside Cancer Care Center Conference Room. The Breast Cancer Caregivers Support Group meets the same day and time in the Fireplace Room.

Beyond Boobs is an informal support group for young women – 40s and younger – who have had breast cancer. For more information, please contact Rene Bowditch 757-561-4749 or Mary Beth Gibson 757-566-1774

The Nutrition & Physical Activity During and After Treatment Group for those diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers meets the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. To register, please call 757-591-8330.

The Look Good Feel Better Class, sponsored by The American Cancer Society, is for women who are dealing with treatment side effects. To register for a session, call 800-520-7006.

The Tree Branch Boutique is at the Riverside Cancer Care Center in Newport News. The Boutique provides free wigs, wig fittings and head coverings. Call 1-800-520-7007 to talk with someone about wig fittings and wig cutting.

The breast cancer patient navigator

Riverside Cancer Care’s Patient Navigation program helps guide patients and their families through the health care system in general and the breast cancer experience in particular. You can reach the Cancer Patient Navigator for the Breast Cancer Program at 757-594-4229.

Bras, camisoles, prosthetics

Following a lumpectomy or mastectomy, women often need to wear special undergarments immediately following their hospital stay. Depending on the surgery, they may need to wear a loose fitting bra or camisole, or a bra that acts more like a compression garment. Additionally, as many women leave the hospital with drains from surgery, having garments with built in pockets to hold the drains can be particularly helpful. Insurance typically covers some of these costs. Please speak with the Breast Cancer Patient Navigator for more information.


Hair loss is often the most recognizable side effect of cancer treatments, but it is not experienced by every patient. Most insurance companies help cover the costs of wigs (technically known as “cranial prosthetics”!), but the AmericanCancer Society and other support organizations can also help you obtain a wig if you need one.

Male breast cancer

Breast cancer does not only affect women. In fact, close to 2,000 men in the United States are diagnosed each year with invasive breast cancer. As with women, not all male breast disorders are cancerous, and immediate medical follow up is very important when symptoms are noted. Some symptoms include breast enlargement (gynecomastia), nipple discharge, burning, or bleeding, dumpling or puckering in the breast, or nipple retraction. Remember, these symptoms are often not associated with cancer, and early diagnosis can help assure early detection- and peace of mind.

Sexuality issues

Many couples are concerned about how cancer, and the treatment that follows, will affect their sexual intimacy.

Fertility concerns

Many women are concerned about how their breast cancer treatment will affect their future fertility. Be sure to discuss this concern with your physician to understand the impact of treatments, as well as options for your situation.

Pregnancy and cancer treatment

Women can be diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy. While this is a frightening situation, women should not feel alone or hopeless. Studies show that certain treatments can be successfully administered to women during their second and third trimesters. If you are pregnant, think you might be pregnant, or could become pregnant, please discuss this with your physicians as soon as possible. It is also critical to mention your pregnancy prior to any diagnostic testing or surgery.

Integrative therapies

At Riverside, we believe that it is important to treat the entire patient, not just the cancer, and our Integrative Medicine program, offered through the Peninsula Cancer Institute, is one of the ways we do that.


Riverside Cancer Care Center’s Resource Library offers resources for caregivers and loved ones in addition to patients. Included is an area for books created to help children better understand what the diagnosis of a loved one can mean to them. Additionally, there are computers in the library where individuals can do online research. There is also a growing collection of books and magazines that have nothing to do with cancer that both patients and loved ones enjoy during treatment.

Address & Phone Number:
Cancer Resource Library
Riverside Cancer Care Center
1st Floor
12100 Warwick Blvd.
Newport News, Virginia 23601

Nurse educator

Fran Holcomb is Riverside Cancer Service’s Nurse Educator. As an Oncology Certified Nurse, Fran is a community resource for cancer patients and their family, friends, and significant others. Fran can help with breast and cervical cancer early detection programs, cancer screenings and other prevention materials. Her office is located adjacent to the Cancer Resources Library, on the first floor of the Riverside Cancer Care Center.

Web resources