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Tips for Breast Cancer patients facing divorceDivorce Tool Box aims to help breast cancer patients who are faced with divorce during their diagnosis and treatment.  A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer and have less quality health and life outcomes according to study titled “Gender Disparity in the Rate of Partner Abandonment in Patients with Serious Medical Illness” published in November, 2009 in the journal Cancer.

The American Cancer Society 2011 reports 230,480 new cases of breast cancer with it being the second leading cause of cancer death in women.  ABC News May 13, 2011 reports there are 1.4 million divorces in the United States each year affecting 2.8 million individuals. Cancer and divorce have become common words in our society, although when combined to describe an individual, a stigma that was once attached to each word begins to re-emerge.

Cancer patients face stressors with the diagnosis and when combined with facing divorce stressors often multiply.   The cancer patient is not only concerned with the diagnosis and treatment, new concerns involving custody, making life changing decisions when battling a life threatening illness, how to pay for medical care when the medical insurance is with spouse’s employer, financial concerns, and division of assets and liabilities. 

Cancer alone creates phenomenal crises in life as it is often equated with multiple losses such as health, self-image and control over life.  Including the crisis of divorce, losses magnify to include loss of personal identity, security of family, and loss of spouse.

Personal illness and divorce rank high on the social readjustment scale with personal illness ranking sixth and divorce ranking second on the hierarchy of the social readjustment scale.  When individuals face both stressful life events which rank in the top ten of this scale, life may become unmanageable.

This same study also measured health and quality of life outcomes among the patients who separated or divorced.  It found these patients used more antidepressants, participated less in clinical trials, had more frequent hospitalizations, were less likely to complete radiation therapy and more likely not to die at home.  These outcomes may be the result of the patient not having spousal support to aid in the illness, balancing family issues and illness, and stress evoking additional illness to further complicate the healing process thus the need for more hospitalizations and multiple life losses lending to the need for more antidepressants.

The facts that health and quality of life declined and the number of breast cancer patients become six times more likely to separate or divorce is noteworthy with emphasis on treating patients in a holistic approach including psychosocial factors. 

Audrey Silcox, a Certified Divorce and Family Mediator, founded Divorce Tool Box, a division of Sildrey Corporation because after 16 years of working with divorcing couples it was apparent there was a better way to help individuals facing divorce.  Silcox is a divorced mother of two, with degrees in psychology and counseling from Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama.  She learned first-hand how important it is to make wise decisions at the outset of the divorce process.  With the diagnosis of cancer and becoming faced with divorce one may need additional insight in identifying and resolving complicated issues that divorcing couples can face.  By being informed about these issues and the legal arena itself, as being compassionate and practical in working with those who seek a divorce, a divorce coach and mediator can help the cancer patient more inexpensively and effectively while customizing the divorce proposal and amicably navigating the legally complex and intense emotional journey of divorce.

Divorce Tool Box is an online program providing help for individuals or couples contemplating or currently undergoing divorce. Custody parenting plans, assets and liabilities, division of property and money matters, along with emotional support are some of the issues addressed in customized, confidential, and convenient online sessions to help people make wise decisions before entering the legal arena. This guidance can help ease a difficult process as well as save countless hours and costs in legal fees. Visit our website today at http://www.DivorceToolBox.com.

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