Support for People with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Listen to our Real Pink podcast, Impact of Diagnosis on Your Mental Health.
Counseling in a one-on-one setting or a support group may improve mental and emotional well-being and quality of life for people with metastatic breast cancer .
These sessions may help:
- Manage feelings of sadness or anxiety
- 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 may 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 support group or counselor
People with metastatic breast cancer have very different needs 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Komen offers an online support community through our closed Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer (Stage IV) Group. The Facebook group provides a place where those living with metastatic breast cancer, and those who love them, can find support, friendship and information. Visit Facebook, search for Komen Metastatic Breast Cancer (Stage IV) Group and request to join the closed group.
These organizations may also be helpful:
American Brain Tumor Association
Offers online and telephone support for people who have metastatic breast cancer with brain metastases.
Offers online support groups.
Offers online support resources and some in-person support groups.
Share Cancer Support
Offers online support resources.
Care after breast cancer treatment ends
At some point, you may decide to stop active treatment 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 of care, rather than a part of treatment.
This can be a very difficult time for you and your family. Your health care provider or hospital can help you find a counselor or a support group to help you during this stage of cancer care.
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.
SUSAN G. KOMEN® METASTATIC BREAST CANCER SUPPORT RESOURCES