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Breast Cancer Support Groups in New Providence, Berkeley Heights Area

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

One in 8 American women and 1 in 1,000 American men will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. 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 in the New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside area.

1. Summit Medical Group, Berkeley Heights

Summit Medical Group, which has several locations in the area, offers Breast Cancer Support Groups for newly diagnosed patients and patients who are a year or more post-diagnosis.

According to the Summit Medical Group's online calendar, there are five upcoming support group meetings between now and the end of the year.

For newly diagnosed patients:

  • Monday, Nov. 5, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 3, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

For patients who are a year or more post-diagnosis:

  • Monday, Oct. 15, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Nov. 12, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • Monday, Dec. 10, 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.

Meetings are free and will be held at the Summit Medical Group's Berkeley Heights campus, located at 1 Diamond Hill Rd. Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922. Meetings are held at the Breast Care Center. For additional information, please call (908) 277-8768, and leave your phone number and email address.

2. Robert Wood Johnson Fitness & Wellness Center, Scotch Plains

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital - Rahway offers a local support group in Scotch Plains, which meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:45 p.m.

Meetings are held at the RWJ Rahway Fitness & Wellness Center, located at 2120 Lamberts Mill Rd. Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. Please call (732) 499-6193 for additional information and to confirm meeting time each month.

3. Overlook Medical Center, Summit

Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Medical Center in Summit offers a support group, too. Please call (973) 971-6299 for a location and schedule of meetings.

Do you live in the New Providence, Berkeley Heights and Mountainside area and offer a support group for local breast cancer patients? Please share information about your group in the comments section below or email the information to Caitlin.Mahon@Patch.com.

“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?

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