Project Goals

"Maintaining wellness and an active lifestyle following cancer therapy can sometimes be challenging. Some types of breast cancer therapy also cause persistent late effects or symptoms such as fatigue that can interfere with sleep, exercise, and other activities of daily life. The purpose of this study is to develop an off-the-shelf toolkit full of self-assessments, tools, and suggestions for how breast cancer survivors can make changes to their home and work environments that will help navigate these challenges and maintain wellness. One of the innovations of this toolkit is the potential for it to be tailored to the needs of specific groups of breast cancer survivors, such as men who’ve been treated for breast cancer. During the first phase of this study, launched in February 2017 and sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer, a research team from the University of Massachusetts Amherst has been interviewing breast cancer survivors, clinicians, and other experts to learn as much as possible about what should ultimately go into this toolkit. In the next phase of the study, expected to launch in 2018, prototypes of the toolkit will be tested. The study team is led by an oncology nurse scientist who trained at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Dr. Rachel Walker. Brenda Mutai, a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s School of Public Health, is the study’s research coordinator. The team includes patient advocates as well as clinical experts from a variety of leading research centers, including UMASS Amherst’s Center for Personalized Health Monitoring, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Dartmouth University’s School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital’s Institute of Health Professions, UMASS Boston, Tufts University and Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research.