The Reach to Recovery program

Cancer. 1994 Jul 1;74(1 Suppl):372-5. doi: 10.1002/cncr.2820741324.


The diagnosis of breast cancer brings with it significant psychosocial concerns and questions. Part of providing comprehensive care for a woman with breast cancer requires the physician to be aware of the Reach To Recovery Program, which is a peer modeling program provided by the American Cancer Society. The women who are part of the program have had treatment for breast cancer, either a lumpectomy or mastectomy, and are trained volunteers who provide support and information for the woman diagnosed with breast cancer. The Reach To Recovery Program is a tool that can benefit both the physician and the woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer, because the Reach To Recovery volunteer can respond to the unique concerns of the woman. The concerns can include the physical, emotional, and cosmetic needs related to the disease and/or its treatment. This paper will discuss the role of the Reach To Recovery volunteer, the features and benefits of the program, and ways in which the physician can access the Reach To Recovery Program. The Reach To Recovery Program is in the process of being revised to meet the changing needs that are the result of new treatments and shorter hospital stays. Alternative types of visit patterns will be presented.

MeSH terms

  • American Cancer Society
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Peer Group*
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Social Support
  • United States
  • Volunteers*