The YWCA Princeton on Paul Robeson Place has many programs, but one in particular is the Breast Cancer Resource Center. This barnyard red facility located in the historic Bramwell House facing Route 206 is primarily for use by Central Jersey and Bucks County residents, but people travel far and wide for their extensive offerings.
I was introduced to the director Kara Stephenson last year, and attended their annual fundraiser (In the Pink Fashion Show) in October. I was touched by all of the stories, and amazed by the abundant resources available for breast cancer patients, survivors, and family.
Did you know that about 25% of insured women forget about getting mammograms? Many believe that size matters, and that teens and young adults don’t need to be concerned about breast cancer. Some think using antiperspirants or wearing an underwire bra causes breast cancer, but it’s not true. What can increase chances of getting it is increased levels of estrogen. Myths and facts discussed at BCRC.
The Breast Cancer Resource Center (BCRC) accepts health insurance, but also enables uninsured or underinsured patients to use their services thanks to a designated fund. The BCRC focuses on three aspects concerning breast cancer: Community Outreach, Information, and Support.
Early detection is key. Outreach helps to educate women and girls about regular screening.
Breast Cancer Awareness Talks – BCRC will go to schools, churches, organizations, businesses, or groups to get the word out. Symptoms, screening and risk factors are discussed, but sometimes the most effective tools are survivors who share their personal stories.
Health and Community Fairs – BCRC participates in fairs sponsored by groups and organizations. questions are answered, and educational material are handed out.
One Step Ahead – This program is funded by Princeton Radiology, who give free mammograms to those in need.
Breast Cancer Information – There is someone available to answer questions, provide print material, and give referrals.
Newsletter – The Source offers information about nutrition, programs and services, exercise, and more.
Networking Nights – Learn more about breast cancer from local and regional experts, and share experiences, while enjoying a healthy dinner.
Resource Library – BCRC has journals, magazines, books, reference materials, videos and CDs to use at the facility or to borrow.
Mind and Body Wellness Programs – Activities like yoga, Zumba, Pilates, meditation, water exercises, and retreats help you maintain your quality of life during and after treatment.
Patient Assistant Fund – This provides financial support to those who are uninsured or underinsured. The turn around is one day.
Private Counseling – Perfect for those who don’t wish to join a support group.
Support Groups – There are several groups who meet in the Living Room on various days to cope with treatment and after treatment. There’s one for under 40s, Latinas (in Spanish), Coping with Breast Cancer (same people in group for six weeks), Beyond Breast Cancer (revolving people in group), Stage 4 (dealing with fears of dying and helping them live life).
Wig and Prosthesis Boutique – Additionally, there’s the Look Good, Feel Good program for make-up application and wig styling.
Woman-to-Woman Network – This matches survivors with new patients.
There are so many more services available. Cancer and Careers to help explain gaps in your résumé, who to tell, and knowing what to do if you get fired, and they provide a free dinner alternating months. The Teleconference Series features Cancer Care, Living Beyond Cancer, and Cancer and Careers, which can be viewed online.
If you are interested in using any of the resources, need more information, would like to volunteer, or make a donation, contact the Breast Cancer Resource Center.
You can already purchase tickets to attend their In the Pink Fashion Show annual fundraiser held at the Westin on Friday, October 12th.