Support for People with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Read our blog, Looking Back Helps Me See the Progress I’ve Made Against Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Counseling in a one-on-one setting or a support group may 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
Social support is an important benefit of group therapy. Support groups can provide a safe place to express feelings with people who understand what you’re going through.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for help finding a support group.
Find a list of resources to help you find a support group in your area.
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:
Share Cancer Support
Find more organizations that offer online and telephone support.
Care after treatment for the breast cancer ends
At some point, you may decide to stop 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 arrange for counseling or a support group to help you during this stage of cancer care.
Learn about hospice care and other types of support.
Learn about support programs for family, friends and other loved ones.
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® SUPPORT RESOURCES