Living with Breast Cancer

In addition to curative treatments, City of Hope breast cancer patients have access to the broad range of services offered by our Department of Supportive Care Medicine. The department’s staff of professionals can help patients and loved ones with a variety of care and wellness issues including:

  •  Managing side effects, including incontinence and impotence
  •  Pain management
  •  Navigation through the health care system
  •  Coping and maintaining emotional/social/spiritual well-being
  •  Staying healthy and active during/after treatment
  •  Guidance on eating and cooking well
  •  Healing arts
  •  Building caregivers’ skills
     

The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resource Center is the heart of the Department of Supportive Care Medicine, integrating City of Hope's support services under one umbrella. The Biller Resource Center provides a warm and welcoming space where patients, families and caregivers can access the resources, education and support they need to strengthen and empower themselves, before, during and after treatment.
 
Our team of supportive care experts includes clinical social workers; pain and palliative care physicians and nurses; psychologists, psychiatrists; patient navigators; health educators; spiritual care chaplains; child life specialists and more. The Biller Resource Center staff may be reached at 626-256-4673 ext. 32273 (3CARE).
 
 
Breast cancer affects the whole family, causing stress in relationships, among family members, and in your work and home life. A united team can help effectively manage these disruptions. The Partners Clinic is a novel program unique to City of Hope that offers patients and their families an opportunity to grow closer as they solve problems together. Designed specifically for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and their partners or families, the clinic offers communication training and gender-based problem-solving led by board-certified counseling experts. This session, which occurs at the initial surgical visit, provides patients and their families with the necessary tools to communicate honestly and directly with each. It actively encourages the sharing of emotional concerns and fears in a way that helps everyone manage their unique situations.
 
Additional Resources
 

Breast Cancer Videos
City of Hope experts cover prevention, screening, treatment and breast cancer reconstruction in a series of informative videos.

Breast Cancer Program
 
 
Laura Kruper, M.D., Head, Breast Surgery and Co-director of the Breast Cancer Program talks about breast cancer treatments such as IORT and the latest in breast cancer research.
 
 
Breast Cancer Facts: What You Need to Know
 
 
Learn about risk factors, common misconceptions, and warning signs of breast cancer.
Prevention
 
 
Leslie Bernstein, Ph.D., professor and director of City of Hope's Division of Cancer Etiology, talks about some lifestyle factors that can influence a woman's breast cancer risks, based on findings from the California Teachers Study—which Dr. Bernstein leads—and other research.
 
Screening
 
 
Laura Kruper, M.D., discusses current breast cancer screening guidelines for women at normal and high risk for the disease.
     
Reconstruction
 
 
Mark Tan, M.D., assistant clinical professor and staff surgeon at City of Hope's Division of Plastic Surgery, talks about breast reconstruction options available to breast cancer patients who underwent a mastectomy or lumpectomy.
 
Step-by-Step Instructions for Breast Self-Exams
 
 
Follow step-by-step instructions for breast self-exams. The video is part of the Style Network's "Fight with Style" initiative, dedicated to educating women on the importance of early detection and self-exams.

 
Survivor Stories
In our 'My Cancer Diagnosis: What I wish I’d known' series, former patients reflect upon their experience. Read their inspiring stories and advice.
 

Sterling Abbott

Sterling Abbott discovered a lump in her breast while breast-feeding her baby. She thought it would go away. It didn’t.
 

Kommah McDowell

Kommah McDowell’s diagnosis at age 28 came with the prediction that she had only a 5 percent chance of surviving two years. She’s now 37, with a son.
 
 
Luisa Najera was twice told that the lump she felt was just a cyst, even though her sister had died of breast cancer at age 38. Finally, she  came to City of Hope.
 
 
Stephanie Hosford first learned that she was pregnant -- then learned she had triple-negative breast cancer. She was advised to have an abortion. Instead, she came to City of Hope.
 
Candida Orosco defeated an aggressive form of breast cancer. Now she’s determined to make a difference in the world.
 
 
Don Hoffman noticed that the nipple on his left breast was suspiciously flat. He had a hunch it might be breast cancer. He was right.
 
 
Julie and Ed Rodriguez learned how to fight her breast cancer as a team. Now they have advice for other couples.