Support for People with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Counseling in a one-on-one setting or a support group can improve mental well-being and quality of life for people with metastatic breast cancer .
These sessions may help:
- Manage feelings of sadness or anxiousness
- Identify symptoms that can be treated by your health care team
- Improve communication with family members and other loved ones
- Reduce feelings of isolation
- Discuss fears about death and dying
- Express your needs and preferences
Many people feel an intense bond with other group members and a sense of acceptance through sharing a common experience.
Social support from the group can ease some of the feelings of isolation that can separate you from well-meaning, but anxious friends and family members.
Support groups aren’t for everyone. Support groups focused on emotional support are useful for people who are comfortable expressing their feelings and fears in a group setting.
Some people are more comfortable talking one-on-one with a counselor or therapist.
Everyone has different needs. It’s most important to find a healthy support system that works for you.
Finding a counselor or support group
People with metastatic breast cancer have very different issues from those with early stage breast cancer. So, a support group for people with metastatic cancer of any kind will be more helpful than a support group for people with early stage breast cancer.
Your oncologist, nurse or social worker may be able to help you find a counselor, local support group or an online support group. You can also call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) or email at email@example.com for help finding a support group.
Online and telephone support groups
Online and telephone support groups are similar to in-person groups. They provide a chance to share information, give and receive social support and gain a sense of empowerment.
These organizations may be helpful:
Care after treatment for the breast cancer ends
At some point, you may decide to stop treatments for the cancer. This can happen when treatment stops showing a benefit or when it greatly affects quality of life.
Once treatment is stopped, reducing any cancer-related symptoms (called palliative care) becomes the main focus, rather than just a part of treatment.
This can be a very difficult time. Your health care provider or hospital can arrange for counseling or a support group to help you during this stage of cancer care.
Learn more about what Komen is doing to help people with metastatic breast cancer.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website has information on end-of-life planning and care, including questions to ask your health care provider.
The American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has a guide for patients and their families to help make decisions on end-of-life care.
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