In the U.S., less than 1 percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men. In 2020, it’s estimated that among men in the U.S., there will be 2,620 new cases of invasive breast cancer. Although this diagnosis is rare, it is important for anyone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer to have information about the disease and support throughout their journey.
A breast cancer diagnosis can bring a wide range of emotions including shock, fear, sadness and anger. For men, a sense of stigma and shame attached to the diagnosis can make these feelings even stronger. One way patients can manage their feelings is through a community of support.
Support groups can be an important resource for people diagnosed with breast cancer. Many times, support groups for men with breast cancer can be hard to find. At the Susan G. Komen® Breast Care Helpline, we have helped fill that gap in service by creating a support group specifically for men. The group provides a safe place for men to discuss the unique challenges they may be facing throughout their diagnosis.
This free, six-week telephone support group is designed for men who are currently receiving a form of active treatment. This group is a safe, convenient and confidential space where participants can discuss the challenges of living with cancer, while giving and receiving support, information and guidance. This group is professionally moderated by an oncology social worker. There is great benefit to professionally-moderated groups: the facilitator is qualified to lead with expertise, while being knowledgeable and responsive to the needs of the group.
Group members have benefited tremendously from the facilitator, but most importantly from each other. Participants in the group have found that hearing about the experiences of others with cancer was helpful and report learning a lot from other members. Additionally, after participating in the group, they felt they had better coping skills, felt less isolated and more motivated to take action. Overall, this group helps reduce the emotional impact of the diagnosis.
To learn more about this support group, and other programs available to breast cancer patients, please contact the Susan G. Komen® Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636). We provide free, professional support services to anyone with breast cancer questions or concerns, including men diagnosed with breast cancer and their families. Calls are answered by a trained and caring staff member Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET.