SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, dedicated to spreading the word on early detection.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and according to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, that’s one person every two minutes in the United States.
In our Wellness Wednesday Segment, we talked about breast cancer and mental health with Mary Jo Horton, the Manager of Behavioral Health and Memorial Health. This is a topic that is close to Mary Jo’s heart because her mother struggled with breast cancer.
Here are her suggestions for patients and loved ones going through the experience:
Mental Health Impacts of Breast Cancer:
• Anxiety for those in high-risk categories
• Fear and Layered Emotions for those who have had a positive diagnosis
• Mixed Emotions for those in remission
• Uncertainty and sadness for those with a loved one impacted
Layered Emotions and an Evolving Experience:
• The experience of cancer doesn’t stop; it evolves
• People in treatment can struggle with how to express emotions and needs
• People who love someone in the experience can struggle with how to support
Strategies to Communicate Needs and Love:
• Remember there is no right way to go through a difficult experience
• Focus on language to communicate intent to guide discussion
• People can feel supported in a multitude of ways; little efforts are huge