The American Cancer Society Founds "Reach to Recovery" to Promote Breast Cancer Treatment and Advocacy

Although doctors have been fighting breast cancer for centuries, it was not until the 20th century that movements to increase breast cancer awareness as well as cancer awareness in general began.

In 1952 the American Cancer Society created the Reach to Recovery program, one of the landmark programs in the history of breast cancer treatment and advocacy. The Reach to Recovery program was a group of women helping women, where women would go visit patients in hospitals who had just had mastectomies for support. This group continues its operations today.

Terese Lasser began Reach to Recovery in the United States in 1952. Following her own operation for breast cancer, she persuaded the medical community that patients could benefit from the opportunity to talk with someone who had been through a similar experience. Reach to Recovery grew to be widely accepted and highly regarded by patients and doctors around the world.

Reach to Recovery began in 1952 in Manhattan and has since become an extensive network of volunteers who are active in most cancer society chapters worldwide. Doctors often request that the volunteers visit breast cancer patients in the hospital shortly after their surgery.

Reach to Recovery was started by breast cancer survivor Terese Lasser in 1952, who believed then what Donna believes now – it is essential to give newly diagnosed breast cancer patients the emotional support that only breast cancer survivors can give.