Breast Cancer Support Groups in the Delaware Valley

In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, here's a list of local breast cancer support groups.

One in eight American women and one in 1,000 American men are battling breast cancer today. It’s estimated that more than 2 million people are diagnosed with breast cancer and fight for their lives each year.

Breast cancer is difficult to face alone—for both patients and their loved ones. To help in the battle, there are a number of local resources and support groups.

Breast Cancer Networking Group
When: Third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Where: Women's Center at Chestnut Hill Hospital 
Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118
Who Can Attend: Open to patients with a breast cancer diagnosis who are in or have completed treatment. Family members are also welcome.
Email Lori Curtis or call 215-248-8930 if you would like to attend.

Queens of Survival
When: Fourth Wednesday of each month from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Temple Cancer Center
3401 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19141
Who Can Attend: This monthly informational group gives women the opportunity to learn the latest information about breast cancer treatment, detection and prevention from leading experts in the field. Each month a speaker is brought in to speak on a topic related to breast cancer. 
Email Jeanne Chavious or call 215-707-8039 if you would like to register to attend. 

Breast Cancer Support Group
When: Third Tuesday of each month from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Comprehensive Breast Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital

Clothier Building
101 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Contact Ruthmary Strohm at 484-337-3594 if you would like more details. 

Lunch and Learn Breast Cancer Networking Group
To be announced
Where: The Comprehensive Breast Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital
2nd Floor Conference Room
101 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Who Can Attend: The Comprehensive Breast Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital invites all breast cancer survivors to join other survivors and take part in our monthly lunch and learn sessions. Contact Marti Lyman at 484-337-8775 if you would like more information. 

Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer Support Group
To be announced
Where: Bryn Mawr Hospital Comprehensive Breast Center
101 South Bryn Mawr Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Who Can Attend: Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer is a seven week session open to the community. Once registered it becomes a closed group for the duration of the seven weeks. Please call Ruthmary Strohm at 484-337-3594 for dates and to register.

Breast Cancer Support Group
The first and third Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. 
Where: Delaware County Memorial Hospital
Medical Office Building, Cancer Center
501 N. Lansdowne Ave., Drexel Hill, PA 19026
Call 610-622-3818 for more information.  

Living Beyond Breast Cancer
When: To be announced
Where:  354 W Lancaster Ave, Suite 224, Haverford, PA 19041
Email Lynn Folkman or call 610-645-4567 for more information. 

Breast Cancer Support Group
Fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. 
Where: Phoenixville Hospital
Senior Resource Center, Medical Office Building 1, Suite 202
Phoenixville, PA 19460 
Who Can Attend: This support group offers breast cancer patients the opportunity to gain support and information from others with similar experiences and concerns. 
Call Robin Heist at 610-983-1989 for more information or to register. 

Breast Cancer Network
Third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
Where: Paoli Memorial Hospital Cancer Center
: MOB 3
255 West Lancaster Avenue, Paoli, PA 19301
Who Can Attend: There is a six week session in fall and spring for those diagnosed within the past year. A monthly group meets the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m.
Email Kate O'Connor or call 484-565-1253 for more details. 

Breast Cancer Support Group
When: First Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.
Where: Chester County Hospital,
Radiation Oncology Waiting Room
701 East Marshall Street, West Chester, PA 19380-4421.
Who Can Attend: Email Cynthia Brown or call 610-431-5296 to register. 

“Support groups are really beneficial,” says Debra Somerrs Copit, MD, Director of Breast Imaging at Albert Einstein Medical Center, and a member of the medical advisory board for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.

“When patients are told they’re sick, it can be an out of body experience and they aren’t taking in everything the doctor is saying. It can be helpful to have someone to turn to and learn from who has gone through the same thing,” says Copit, who is a breast cancer survivor herself.

Not only do groups offer emotional support, but being a part of a support group can actually help patients feel less depressed and can help to reduce physical pain, according to a 2001 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Patients who aren’t big fans of group settings but still want to reap the benefits can turn to technology. It’s hard to duplicate in-person support groups on the web, but the recently launched breast cancer specific social networking platform, MyBreastCancerTeam comes close.

The site and mobile app caters to breast cancer survivors, and women  who have been recently diagnosed. Users can find suggestions for doctors and find similar users based on location, diagnosis and age. Members also have access to peer-driven Q&A section where they can read and write posts.

While a web platform may be useful for some, Dr. Copit worries that online forums can sometimes trigger the spread of misinformation. She suggests that patients who can’t make it to an in-person support group try calling a phone line.

Living Beyond Breast Cancer has a confidential survivors’ helpline that connects patients with others of similar background, going through similar situation. Call (888) 753-LBBC (5222) for more information.

TELL US: Do you know of any breast cancer support groups in the community? How have they helped you?

Mary Jo Grove October 09, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I have been attending a breast cancer support group at Riddle Hospital for the last 9 years on the first Tuesday of the month from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. We have truly become a sisterhood and support each other through thick and thin. It is supportive to know that others have the same worries and concerns and are experiencing the same side effects as you are, and we feel free to discuss anything with others that understand.


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