I've Been Diagnosed

Receiving a breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis is a frightening, exhausting, and life-changing experience. You've probably faced a confusing array of treatment options and have been asked to make many difficult decisions. Along with our partners, we are here to make sure you have the resources and support you need.

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Your Cancer and Your Family

It’s often difficult to keep your family life in order while you are going through treatment, especially when your loved ones are used to relying on you for support. You may have had to accept help when you are used to being the caretaker. You may have tried to put on a brave face to keep from worrying others. And you may have heard that having a family history increases one’s risk for cancer. So in addition to dealing with your own cancer journey, you’re discovering that your diagnosis may indicate that your siblings or children have an increased chance of developing cancer as well.

 

You may feel concern or guilt over this discovery.  These feelings are completely normal, but developing cancer is not your fault.

 

In fact, by taking steps to learn more about your family’s cancer risks, you have the opportunity to arm your loved ones with life-saving knowledge and empower those around you to be proactive advocates for their own breast and ovarian health.

Empower Your Loved Ones

Your doctor or genetic counselor can help you decide if genetic testing is needed to determine future cancer risks for you and your family.  Start by checking out our Hereditary Cancer page for signs that your cancer might be hereditary.

 

Use what you’ve been through as a source of inspiration and motivation for those around you.
Make sure the people you love know how they can be proactive with their breast and ovarian health by:

  • Encouraging them to know their risk. Make sure your relatives know that since there’s been a diagnosis of breast or ovarian cancer in the family, their risk may be increased.
  • Discussing prevention and early detection habits. Certain lifestyle changes can help reduce breast and ovarian cancer risk. Keeping an eye out for breast and ovarian cancer symptoms, knowing what’s normal for your body, and seeing a doctor you trust once a year can help ensure that if cancer does develop, it’s caught at an early, treatable stage.
  • Giving them one of our Little Bright Books. These booklets explain the basics of breast and ovarian cancer risk in a way that’s not scary or overwhelming.

Find Information and Support

This will undoubtedly be a difficult process for you and your family. It’s important to take care of yourself. Don’t be afraid to lean on others for support or seek professional counseling.

 

There are many organizations that provide information, support, and community for young breast and ovarian cancer survivors.

 

Some of our favorites include:

Breast Cancer Resources

Ovarian Cancer Resources

General Cancer Resources

 

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