An educational program from diagnosis to post-cancer period, a first in France

An educational program from diagnosis to post-cancer period, a first in France

Women with breast cancer may, for the first time in France,  benefit from a comprehensive therapeutic education program,  from diagnosis to preparing the " post-cancer " period.

The IUCT Oncopole has created 9 educational workshops. Their goal is to give patients the tools and skills to learn how to live with the disease, both in hospital and at home. "This program, which complements the activity of our supportive care department,  is based on a study recording the expectations of patients and city professionals, says project manager Emmanuelle Arfé. The findings allowed us to identify the key skills required by patients to improve their quality of life during and after treatment."  

The study revealed that women needed :

  • to be better informed about the key stages of the disease;
  • to learn how to prevent and manage complications;
  • to acquire good nutritional habits;
  • to discuss the possible disruptions in their sex life;
  • to know what kind of physical activity to do;
  • to know the role of health professionals in and out of the hospital;
  • and to prepare the " post-cancer  " period.


" We opted for workshop sessions led by a health professional, sometimes together with a patient representative, says Emmanuelle Arfé. Discussions within a group help maintain social cohesion and healthy self-esteem. It is a personalized program, patients can register at any time in the workshop of their choice." 


Being more independent

Therapeutic progress has led to more and more cures. It also helps to curb the progression of the disease; it is then referred to as a chronic disease,  requiring treatment with medicinal products over a longer period. Some treatments, such as hormone therapy prescribed over 5 years, are not followed regularly by 7 out of 10 patients, due mainly to side effects. Therapeutic education, the objective of which is to learn to live better with the disease and acquire certain skills, provides solutions.   " We give them the keys to being more independent, to understand and act during and after the treatments, adds Emmanuelle Arfé. They acquire good reflexes allowing them to cope with the side effects of the medications. By receiving more information on the risks of relapse, they can adopt new   lifestyles. We also help them to adapt their life project based on the difficulties related to the disease." 


The 9 workshops

  1. Know the key points about breast cancer and the treatment program
  2. Identify the role of health professionals in the hospital and city
  3. Lymph node sampling: preventing and managing complications
  4. Sexual disturbances caused by breast cancer
  5. Preventing nutritional disorders
  6. Organizing a suitable exercise routine in your weekly schedule
  7. Chemotherapy, knowing the right reactions when faced with fever
  8. Today ... what's the job for you?
  9. Discussing and organizing the post-cancer period 

6 additional workshops will soon be offered.