Program Helps Patients and Caregivers Cope with Breast Cancer

Coping and Caring, a four-week program for people with breast cancer and a loved one of their choice, is being offered in March by Shore Regional Cancer Center and the Wellness Community-Delmarva. The group will meet on Wednesday, March 3, 10, 17 and 24 from      6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Shore Regional Cancer Center, 509 Idlewild Avenues in Easton. The program is free and open to couples who are spouses, friends and others who are in a care giving relationship.

“Recent research indicates that women with breast cancer medically benefit from having strong social support,” says Pam Black, LCSW-C, OSW-C, oncology social worker for Shore Regional Cancer Center. “This series of four classes allows people with breast cancer and any loved one they choose to learn a model of communication and problem-solving skills that can be used to address almost any problem.”

The Coping and Caring program leaders will use the COPE model. “COPE stands for the four key ideas incorporated in the program:  creativity, optimism, planning and expert information,” explains Black. “Couples will learn skills to help them cope with many issues ranging from how to best communicate with a physician to symptom management and how to work out problems with family members that arise during breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.”

Coping and Caring is part of a research study being conducted by the Wellness Community. Attendance is limited to seven couples who are asked to attend all four sessions. Participants will complete a consent form and a series of questionnaires before and after the four sessions.

Advance registration is required. For more information and to register, call Pam Black at Shore Regional Cancer Center, 410-820-6800, ext. 2257.