Living Beyond Breast Cancer
At Memorial Sloan Kettering, we know that even after you’ve finished your cancer treatments, you may still need our help. We’re committed to supporting you in every way we can — physically, emotionally, spiritually, and otherwise — for as long as you need us.
We’ve built a program designed for cancer survivors and their families. Our Survivorship Center has many services for you and your loved ones, including support groups, follow-up programs, educational resources, and more.
Plus, our Resources for Life After Cancer program offers individual and family counseling, lectures and support groups, and practical guidance on employment and insurance issues, among other services. Visit the Survivorship Center to learn more.
Cancer treatment can sap your strength, flexibility, mobility, and endurance. The experts at our Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation can teach you therapeutic exercises and training programs that can help you heal. The state-of-the-art facility is specially tailored to the needs of people who’ve undergone treatment for cancer.
If you’re in pain — whether it’s during your treatments or even months after they’re over — you don’t have to continue to suffer. Our experts can help.
Our specialists in palliative care and pain management can give you solutions for both acute physical pain that comes on suddenly as well as chronic pain that can linger.
Our palliative care specialists are trained to ease the side effects of cancer treatment and work with our pain experts to build a plan that makes sense for you and your needs, both during your treatment and after it. Our dedicated outpatient programs are here for you and your caregivers, and we can work with your doctor and local pharmacists to keep you as comfortable as possible.
Sometimes, you and your loved ones just need someone to talk to, someone who’s trained to help you make sense of your experience before, during, and after treatment for cancer.
Our Counseling Center offers both individual and group counseling sessions to help you and your family cope with your disease. These sessions can be a healthy, productive way to work through the stress and anxiety that are sometimes a part of treatment and recovery.
We also have a program through which past patients doing well now are available to meet with you if you’re still in treatment. We can often also arrange to be visited by someone who has a diagnosis similar to yours. If you’re interested in this program, let us know.
Cancer and its treatment are a challenge for anyone, regardless of age. But if you’re over 65, you may face unique issues that only affect people in your age group. We’re committed to providing cancer patients of all ages with the treatment, facilities, and support they need.
Your treatment team will include healthcare professionals who have the specialized training and experience to effectively treat older patients. Every aspect of your care — diagnosis, treatment, recovery, support — will be tailored to meet your particular needs.
Medical treatments — things like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery — are often the best way to treat your cancer. Their whole purpose is to get you healthy again. But at MSK, we know that complementary services can also help soothe and heal not only your body but also your mind and spirit.
Our Integrative Medicine Service can be a valuable part of your formal treatment plan. Programs we offer include massage, acupuncture, hypnotherapy, meditation, visualization, music therapy, and nutritional counseling. Formal classes include yoga, tai chi, and chair aerobics.
Many people with cancer have questions about diet and nutrition. Our food and nutrition team is trained in helping you understand and cope with a variety of conditions relating to cancer treatment.
Our expert dietitians provide medical nutrition therapy that can help you manage digestion problems, changes in taste, your weight, and other issues. They’ll work closely with your treatment team to customize a dietary plan that fits your own specific needs.
We understand that the side effects of cancer treatment that affect your physical appearance can be as upsetting and uncomfortable as any other symptoms you may have. Our dermatology experts can help you manage conditions that affect the health and appearance of your skin and, in some instances, even help prevent them from developing in the first place.
Some breast cancer treatments can cause the early onset of menopausal symptoms — irregular periods, hot flashes, drying or thinning of vaginal tissues or the bladder, loss of interest in sex, insomnia and fatigue, and memory problems.
At Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Barbara White Fishman Women’s Health Center, women treated for breast cancer can receive counseling and treatment to help them manage the symptoms of menopause and the increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease that can occur after menopause. We care for both young women who are experiencing the early onset of menopause as a result of cancer therapy and older women who have reached menopause naturally, but whose choices for managing menopausal symptoms are limited because of their cancer histories.
Some women find that cancer therapy has affected their feelings about, and desire for, sex. If you are having difficulty maintaining intimacy with your partner or find that it is too difficult for you to enjoy sex because of fatigue, pain, or discomfort, counselors in our Female Sexual Medicine Program can help you discuss and address your concerns. They can also refer you to other doctors who treat any underlying problems that may be contributing to your concerns.
The Female Sexual Medicine Program provides services at the Barbara White Fishman’s Women’s Health Center at the Rockefeller Outpatient Pavilion and at the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center. For more information or an
Fertility is an important, very personal concern for many of our patients. Our experts can help explain how different treatment options can affect the ability to have and bear children, and also go over the many choices we can offer — both before treatment and during it — to give you the best chance of preserving your fertility.
Beyond the many other health issues it causes, smoking is a serious risk factor for many types of cancer, and can also make cancer treatments less effective. If you smoke, we want to help you stop — now — to reduce your risk of developing a second cancer or impairing your treatment.
The Tobacco Treatment Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering is ready to help if you’re ready to quit. Giving up tobacco is hard. And quitting while in treatment presents a unique challenge. But it’s a challenge you can overcome, and we can help you do it. We’ll also help family members who want to quit with you.