Breast Cancer in women

Sources of support

Family were often a great source of support during and after illness, and several women noted how certain family members or relatives had encouraged them. One young single mother, whose family lived overseas, described how her daughter became her main source of support. Other women discussed the support they had received from siblings, adult children and grandchildren.

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A few women described how their illness had brought them closer as a family or improved relationships between different members. One woman explained how family rallied around and helped find information about breast cancer. Some women also discussed the emotional and practical support they had received from partners.

Some women said that friends had helped and encouraged them throughout their illness. A few women mentioned that, although some friends found their diagnosis difficult to cope with, others became closer and more understanding. Neighbours were also an important source of support for some, and several women recalled how neighbours had given practical help with shopping and cooking.

A religious faith or belief in God was invaluable to some women, who described how their faith helped them cope with their illness and the comfort it provided them.

Many women discussed the information and support given by breast care nurses, and some had contacted them for advice and reassurance after treatment. Other women praised the professional counselling they’d received to help them discuss and understand their feelings.

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Other women with breast cancer were also often an important source of advice, information and emotional support. Some women discussed the sense of fellowship or bond they felt with other cancer patients, emanating from their shared experience.

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Some women discussed feeling unsupported after completing treatment, and a few stressed the importance of discussing concerns and anxieties with others who had been through a similar experience. Support groups sometimes met this need, and one woman explained how joining a support group helped her to cope better both with her illness and her life generally (see 'Support groups').

Healthtalk has a whole site on breast cancer in men, for more information see 'Sources of support for men with breast cancer'.

Last reviewed May 2015.
Last updated May 2015.

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