Young Survival Coalition

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
By, Jennifer Merschdorf
Young Survival Coalition (YSC), was established in 1998 by three young woman who were under the age of 35 when diagnosed with breast cancer. They were discouraged by the lack of resources available and concerned about the under-representation of young women in breast cancer research.

Founded by young survivors for young survivors, YSC was the first nonprofit organization to focus exclusively on the unique needs of young women affected by breast cancer, which can include more aggressive forms of cancer, higher mortality rates, fertility issues and the possibility of early-onset menopause. It began as a grassroots organization to create awareness with the general public that young women can and do get breast cancer and advocate for young adult oncology research. Based in New York City, with 23 affiliates nationwide, YSC’s mission today is to ensure that no young woman feels alone as she faces a breast cancer diagnosis.

YSC works with survivors, caregivers and the medical, research, advocacy and legislative communities to improve the quantity and quality of life for young women diagnosed with breast cancer. The organization provides free support and education to address every phase of a woman’s breast cancer experience, creates resources to help women understand their diagnosis and keep track of their treatment and medical information, and advocates to increase the number of studies about breast cancer in young women.YSC produces educational materials such as its ResourceLink Guidebook, a comprehensive listing of local, statewide and national assistance resources, as well as more than 450 breast cancer support groups; Newly Diagnosed Resource Kit (NDRK) that includes YSC’s educational brochures, Treatment Navigator, national ResourceLink Guidebook, listing of local resources and You Are Not Alone DVD; Metastatic Navigator, which offers 90 pages of resources, plus an organizational system and advice on practical matters to help women manage the challenges of metastatic breast cancer and work with their healthcare teams; Post-Treatment Navigator that covers topics such as developing a post-treatment plan with healthcare providers, managing potential side effects, making healthy lifestyle choices, planning finances and career transitions and two worksheets to keep track of treatment summaries and follow-up care plans. YSC co-presents the C4YW – Annual Conference for Young Women Affected by Breast Cancer and is well known for its three national Tour de Pink rides.

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