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St. John’s Mercy Begins Breast Cancer Support Group

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News and Features - Organizations and Events
Saturday, 11 September 2010

St. John's Mercy Hospital and the American Cancer Society are starting a support group for families coping with breast cancer. The first meeting is scheduled for 7:00pm Tuesday, September 14, at St. John's Mercy Hospital in Washington. 

"This is a monthly support group for women with breast cancer and the people in their lives. It's about education and social networking. We want to provide a place of understanding and learning for people who are going through similar experiences," said Amy Kelly, a registered nurse and co-facilitator for the Breast Cancer Support Group.

The idea for the Breast Cancer Support Group came from patients. "Time and again, they asked about places they could go to meet others coping with breast cancer, where they could talk about their treatments and family lives and exchange tips and learn what's normal," said co-facilitator Debbie Vietmeier, the Breast Health Nurse Navigator at St. John's Mercy Hospital. "When we couldn't find what our patients were looking for, we decided to start a support group for them."

Facilitators Kelly and Vietmeier are both registered nurses and both have been treated for breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Support Group will receive assistance from Don Rothermich of the American Cancer Society. Guest speakers will discuss topics relevant to breast cancer and overall good health, and group members will have time to ask questions and learn from each other's experiences.

Dr. Thomas Riechers, surgeon and chief of staff of St. John's Mercy Hospital, will be the guest speaker at the first Breast Cancer Support Group meeting. He will discuss basic human anatomy and function of the breast, diagnosing cancer, pathology reports and treatment plans. Future guest speakers will include an oncologist, radiologist, dietitian, geneticist and others who members may show an interest in seeing.

The meetings will be held from 7:00 to 8:30pm on the second Tuesday of each month in the Tucker Room on the second floor at St. John's Mercy Hospital, 901 E. Fifth St. in Washington. The Breast Cancer Support Group is open to breast cancer patients and their loved ones. Reservations are not necessary. Admission is free. For more information, call the Breast Health Nurse Navigator at 636-432-3527.


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