A woman in Playa Del Rey, CA was about to undergo a needle biopsy. Feeling alone and uncertain about the upcoming procedure, she called the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Helpline speaking at length with a Komen Helpline Specialist who listened to her concerns, answered her questions and sent Komen educational resources. The specialist also took the time to follow-up after the call. Believing that knowledge is power, she hung up feeling more at ease about what was to come.
The helpline team serves as a lifeline for those who are feeling overwhelmed with fears or concerns about breast cancer.
Each year, the helpline receives more than 14,000 calls and emails. More than 90 percent of those who contact the helpline are reaching out for their first time. Callers vary from those who are newly diagnosed to co-survivors, many unsure of where to turn and looking for information on how they — or someone close to them — can be assisted in their fight against breast cancer. Others are calling because they are worried about a breast problem, or because they need information about where they can go for screening tests.
“Often helpline callers are unaware of where to even begin when they call,” Director of the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Helpline Vilmarie Rodriguez said. “This is why contacting the helpline is so beneficial. The helpline team is able to guide callers, provide them with current, accurate, safe and evidence-based information, debunk myths, address barriers to care and enable them to take ACTION.”
The trained helpline team assists those who call or email by providing education about breast cancer, helping to locate low-cost local mammography services, coaching how to communicate with their doctors and loved ones and reassuring callers that they are not alone.
The helpline staff stays directly connected to Komen by participating in the Greater NYC Race for the Cure, attending educational workshops and webinars, receiving internal newsletters from the organization and staying up-to-date on breast cancer materials.
They are dedicated to being a friendly, reassuring, comforting and confidence-building voice for those who feel most alone.
You can reach the helpline Monday through Friday (in English and Spanish), from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or firstname.lastname@example.org.