The Cancer Guide offers insight, resources and assistance.
The Cancer Guide is a nonprofit organization offering guidance, resources and firsthand insight to individuals in treatment for cancer. CG’s goal is to act as a ‘go-to’ for cancer patients seeking information, thereby lessening the burdens on their time and emotional energy.
CG specializes in breast cancer, but has general knowledge of and capacity to assist with other types of cancer. Besides certain types of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women in the United States, with about 1 in 8 women developing the disease in their lifetime (source: breastcancer.org). CG’s founder, Gwen Torsky, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29 and currently lives with the disease as a stage 4 patient. A unique strength of the organization is having been built on the experience of its founder. CG offers practical advice and assistance, and helps the client sift through the overwhelming amount of information provided by clinicians and search results online.
Hi, I’m Gwen. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 29, in 2012. After a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, the cancer recurred in 2015, as it does for 25-30% of people. Now I live with the disease as a stage 4 patient, undergoing regular treatment while leading an otherwise normal life.
In 2018 I decided to turn my experience into a resource for others. Having cancer is really hard, and there are times when that is enough work in itself. Making time or having energy to do research, run errands or make phone calls is sometimes not possible. I want to remove some of the stressors and share what I've learned—everything from what pencil works best for drawing on eyebrows during chemo to what questions to ask your doctor. I formed The Cancer Guide as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in order to provide advice and assistance to anyone who wanted it. My goal is to help patients feel as normal and as in control of their lives as possible.
I have never wanted cancer to define me. I am a good friend, a competent baker and a lover of ballet, among other things—not a sick person.
That first year, as I underwent a mastectomy, fertility preservation, chemotherapy and radiation I also worked full-time, moved halfway across the country, and got married. In my wedding photos, I look unremarkably like myself: brown hair pulled back, nails painted, smiling. Looking at the photo album now, I don’t think about going in for a radiation treatment the day before; I just think about the wedding.
I live in Brooklyn, NY with my wonderful husband and our two cats.