The Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition
Partners with these cancer centers
Helen F. Graham Cancer Center at
Christiana Care Health System
4701 Ogletown Stanton Road, Newark
Bayhealth Medical Center at Kent General
640 S. State St., Dover
Milford Memorial Hospital, 21 W. Clarke Ave., Milford
Nanticoke Memorial Hospital
801 Middleford Road, Seaford
Beebe Medical Center – Tunnell Cancer Center
18941 John J. Williams Hwy., Rehoboth Beach
For those diagnosed with breast cancer, the first weeks and months can be a tumult of questions and emotions. While some questions can be addressed by an oncologist or nurse navigator, others can only be answered by someone who has been there. That’s why oncology professionals refer patients to the DBCC and its Peer Mentor Support program.
“It’s a wonderful, wonderful program. Our patients benefit from the mentors tremendously,” says Nancy Lambert, breast cancer nurse navigator at Christiana Care’s Helen F. Graham Cancer Center in Newark. Lambert refers every new patient to DBCC for peer mentoring.
Peer mentors are breast cancer survivors who have been trained to offer support and compassion to the newly diagnosed, and they provide one of the most vital services offered by DBCC. So helpful are the mentors that a few years ago DBCC began a second, specialized peer-mentoring program for those who are considering participating in a clinical trial. In this case, the mentors have all participated in a clinical trial, so they can speak from experience. They also have advanced training in the medical and procedural aspects of clinical trials.
DBCC collaborates in several additional ways with local cancer centers. DBCC staff members, for instance, are part of the team of professionals who facilitate the monthly statewide programs for newly diagnosed women. Beginning Your Breast Cancer Journey (called Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey in Kent and Sussex counties) is a several-hour program designed to address women’s concerns and answer some of their questions on a range of issues—from chemotherapy to personal relationships to finances.
“We want women to know that they are not alone, that there are resources out there and people who want to help them,” says Connie Holdridge, program manager of education and survivorship in Sussex County.
The Graham Cancer Center also has a monthly program, called Nurture Yourself, for those with advanced breast cancer. DBCC’s Cathy Holloway is one of the team of professionals who hosts that program.
DBCC and local cancer centers support each other’s outreach programs as well. Every year DBCC’s Sussex staff participates in Nanticoke Cancer Care Center’s National Cancer Survivors Day and its Pink Ribbon Tea for breast cancer survivors. DBCC participates in Bayhealth’s annual Health Fair. Every October, Bayhealth sells Go Pink T-shirts and gives 50 percent of sales to DBCC. Bayhealth also partners with DBCC with Pink Ribbon Teas for survivors every October in Milford and Dover.
“We have a great rapport with Bayhealth. They are open to us in so many ways, including referrals and fundraising,” says Lois Wilkinson, program manager of education and survivorship in Kent County. At Bayhealth’s invitation, Wilkinson sits on both the Bayhealth Cancer Committee and the Breast Cancer Tumor Committee, where she learns about the latest advances in breast cancer care.