Support Groups

Survivor Facilitated Support Group

Our facilitators are 6 breast cancer survivors who volunteer their time once a month to allow women who have been affected by the breast cancer journey to come together in a secure and safe environment to talk about their situations and concerns. Our volunteer facilitators are: Sylvia Porter, Carolyn Barnett, Barb O’Neill, Joy Nielsen, Karen Craig and Judith Hudson. Many times the women leave the group, making new friends and feeling relieved knowing they are not going through this journey alone. The exchanging of information between these women makes this group important for all. We are a group of kindred spirits who appreciate being able to share the same journey. Those who attend gain confidence that there IS life after breast cancer.

If you know of someone who has been newly diagnosed or who has had breast cancer in their past and needs our support, please encourage them to attend the Support Group. Our support group meets on the second Monday of each month.

  • Women at all stages of breast cancer are welcome; before treatment, during treatment and/or several years beyond diagnosis
  • The group is led by trained facilitators who are breast cancer survivors. One-on-one conversation as well as group discussion is available. Resource information is also accessible
  • Members of BCAK do not give medical advice
  • All discussion groups are confidential. Our group offers support and understanding in a safe and nonjudgmental environment. Group members have the opportunity to share information and concerns with each other in an empathetic manner.

If you are interested in attending our group session, please contact the BCAK office.

Next Meeting

Please check our Events Calendar for the upcoming meetings.

cancer patients survivors support groups

Lymphedema Support Group

The Lymphedema Support Group operates on an as needed basis. Group meetings are typically held when there are a number of newly diagnosed members. One-on-one support always available, please contact the office 613-531-7912.

What Is Lymphedema

Lymphedema refers to swelling that generally occurs in one of your arms or legs.  Sometimes both arms or both legs swell.  It results from a blockage in your lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. The blockage prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid buildup leads to swelling.  The blockage is generally caused by the removal of or damage to your lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment.

For breast cancer survivors, lymphedema can occur in the arm (or arms) nearest the breast that received the cancer treatment.   About 30% of breast cancer patients develop some level of lymphedema.   Lymphedema can start anytime after surgery – even years later.

There is no cure for lymphedema. But it can be managed with early diagnosis and diligent care of your affected limb.

Lymphedema Treatment

Lymphedema is treated and controlled through manual lymph drainage (MLD) and the use of specific compression garments and bandages. The cost of compression garments is partly covered by the Ontario government Assistive Devices Program (ADP).  If you develop lymphedema, your oncologist will provide you with the information required to register for this program.

Treatment for lymphedema is carried out by specially trained physiotherapists or registered massage therapists. Kingston is fortunate to have a registered massage therapist who is both an MLD therapist and certified ADP fitter.  There are also other MLD therapists and fitters, both ADP certified and non-certified, in town. Contact details for these professionals are available through the BCAK office.