Press Release

Sharsheret Launches New Program For Women Living With Advanced Breast Cancer

Hackensack, New Jersey (August, 1, 2005) - Sharsheret, a national not-for-profit organization supporting young Jewish women facing breast cancer, will launch Embrace, a new Quality of Life Program designed for women living in the advanced stages of breast cancer. Embrace will address the specific concerns of women living with advanced breast cancer, including treatment options, pain management, quality of life, talking with family members and friends, and feelings of emotional isolation. Sharsheret will launch the program in October, in time for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Embrace will offer individual counseling sessions by phone with Sharsheret's staff counselor, as well as a twice monthly telephone-based support group connecting women with medical experts and with each other. Resources specific to women living with advanced breast cancer will also be offered to those participating in the program. "Embrace, like all other Sharsheret programs, will provide resources and support by telephone to ensure that it is as convenient as possible for the women of Sharsheret," says Program Director Elana Silber.

Research conducted by Sharsheret revealed that general resources and support available to women living with advanced breast cancer were extremely limited. Embrace is the result of a focus group organized by Sharsheret to determine whether these needs were being met by the organization's existing programs. "We found that women living with metastatic breast cancer wanted support that was customized to their individual experience," says Ms. Silber.

"What differentiates advanced breast cancer from the earlier stages is fear of the unknown, pervasive in many areas including, treatment, prognosis, family, and religious beliefs," says Link Program Coordinator Shera Dubitsky. "Embrace will address the concerns of women living with metastatic breast cancer that are both individual and overlapping," says Ms. Dubitsky. "Speaking with a trained clinician will address the unique concerns instigated by the extraordinary circumstances of women living with advanced breast cancer, while participation in the support group will give women a chance to share their overlapping anxieties and their common resources."

About Sharsheret
Since the organization's founding in 2001, Sharsheret has received more than 5,800 phone calls from those affected by breast cancer, health care professionals, women's organizations, Jewish organizations, and others interested in learning more about the important services Sharsheret provides nationwide.

Sharsheret has developed three core programs in response to the needs of young Jewish women facing breast cancer: The Link Program, a peer support network connecting young women newly diagnosed or at high risk of developing breast cancer with others who share similar diagnoses and experiences, Education and Outreach Programs, including health care symposia addressing the concerns of young women facing breast cancer, and Quality of Life Programs, including the Busy Box for young parents facing breast cancer and Best Face Forward to address the cosmetic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

For more information about Sharsheret or Embrace, please call Program Director Elana Silber at (866) 474-2774.