Health Magazine

Men Supporting Men While Caring For the Women They Love

Posted on the 31 July 2011 by Jean Campbell

menWhen a woman finds out she has breast cancer, she often puts her concerns about the effect her breast cancer will have on her spouse or partner before concerns about her own survival.

As a patient navigator, I met with thousands of women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. I can testify to the fears women have about how their spouses and significant others will react to changes in their body image. Women are especially concerned about their hair loss and surgical scars.

As the months of treatment go on women worry about how their moods, fears, exhaustion, and lack of interest in sexual relations is affecting their husbands or partners. Women worry too about the extra responsibilities their spouses and partners have to carry such as added financial concerns, child care, and household responsibilities.

Many a man is there for his spouse or significant other, doing all that needs doing, while trying to cope with his own fears.

Thanks to an organization called Men Against Breast Cancer, men caring for women with breast cancer have a place to go with their fears and concerns. They have access to coping techniques that can help them as caregivers.

Men Against Breast Cancer (MABC) is the first and only national 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization providing services that educate and assist men in being effective caregivers and being there for the women they love when breast cancer strikes a female loved one.

MABC provides several services that at unique to the needs of men as caregivers.

MABC’s signature program, Partners in Survival™, works to assist men in navigating the crisis of breast cancer by teaching a proven problem solving model to improve communication and help families work together in partnership.

Through their Friends Program, men can reach out to other men in their area who are willing to make email contact to share support.  MABC wrote a book that is a no-nonsense, survival guide for men that provides them with the tools to effectively support their loved ones during health crises.

Each year, their National Male Caregiver’s Conference brings together men from all walks of life and from around the nation to join in MABC’s programs. Also, MABC holds a series of one-to two-day conferences that create a support network and gives men and women strategies to sharpen their skills as caregivers with the goal of improving the patient’s and the family’s quality of life.

MABC has a national mammography program providing low-income and underserved women free access to early detection and treatment.

To date MABC has:

  • Delivered the Partners in Survival™ workshops and educational materials to all 50 states as well as Canada, Italy, Spain, Kenya, and Japan, among other countries around the world.
  • Received the first of its kind $1.1 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control to expand MABC’s innovative services.
  • Held the first ever national male caregiver’s conference with men empowering men to care for women with breast cancer.

To learn more about this needed service for men caring for the women they love with breast cancer, go to:

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