Conference for Young Women Affected By Breast Cancer
Being diagnosed with breast cancer at any age is an overwhelming and frightening experience, but being diagnosed with breast cancer when you are a younger woman brings its own unique challenges.
Facing a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment at a time when a young woman is typically focused on establishing her career, studying, dating, getting married or starting a family affects her in a variety of psychosocial and practical ways. She may feel isolated and alone as she comes to terms with fertility issues, early menopause, changing body image, maintaining a career while undergoing treatment, insurance issues and financial concerns.
Now imagine a place where she can feel less alone, a place where she can share her story with other young women who understand, a place where she can empower herself with the latest information on treatment options and learn new ways to cope and move on with her life.
On the last weekend in February, at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, that place became a reality for hundreds of young women living with breast cancer. We traveled from all across the U.S. (and some, like myself, from countries further afield) to gather for the 11th Annual Conference for Young Women Affected By Breast Cancer (C4YW). We came to hear stories of survival, to become better advocates for our communities, to arm ourselves with the latest scientific research and clinical care, to attend workshops on healthy living, well-being and spirituality and above all to network and reach out to women just like ourselves.
Want to read more? Click here for my report on C4YW as guest blogger at Cure Today.