Northside Expands Mentoring and Support Services for Women with GYN Cancers

Posted on: March 16, 2016


The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) recently announced that the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is among six new grant recipients of its Woman to Woman program.

In 2016, more than 105,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with a gynecologic (GYN) cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.  More cases of GYN cancer (cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, vulvar) are diagnosed and treated at the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute than at anywhere else in Georgia.

OCRFA is the oldest and largest charity in the United States funding ovarian cancer research.  Woman to Woman is the organization’s signature patient support program and pairs GYN cancer patients and their families with professionally trained and supervised survivor volunteers, who offer one-on-one emotional support and mentoring.  Woman to Woman also promotes education and self-advocacy for women in treatment, as well as for their partners, families and other caregivers.  Launched in partnership with QVC, the program is available through just 22 hospitals around the country.  Northside Hospital is the only program site in Georgia.

“Northside is committed to providing patient-centered experience for our cancer patients,” said Guilherme Cantuaria, M.D., lead physician for the Woman to Woman program at Northside.  “This includes a full continuum of care with education, screening and diagnostics, treatment and a wide range of support services.  We are excited about our new collaboration with the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance’s Woman to Woman program.”

For more than 15 years, Northside has successfully paired survivor volunteers with newly diagnosed patients across all cancer specialties through the hospital’s Network of Hope.  Woman to Woman will work alongside the existing Network of Hope program but will be dedicated solely to women with GYN cancers.

“Our survivor volunteers work in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team of physicians and health providers in treating women with gynecologic cancers,” added Dr. Cantuaria.  “Because survivors have seen the other side of cancer, they can use their personal experience to share information and resources that help these women when they need it most.”

Survivor volunteers are matched with patients on a variety of factors including the type of cancer the patient has, age and other characteristics the volunteer and patient might have in common.  Volunteers visit women and their families in a variety of hospital settings including at the inpatient bed, as well as at chemotherapy and radiation treatments and other outpatient appointments.  They also provide phone and e-mail support.

For more information about the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance and Woman to Woman, visit

For information about how to become a Woman to Woman mentor at Northside Hospital or to request a mentor, please call 404-303-3676.

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