Learning that a friend, spouse, or family member has been diagnosed with breast cancer can bring a variety of emotional responses, and you will probably want to reach out and help your loved one with your support. Below are some guidelines to help you offer the most positive support throughout the diagnosis and treatment process.
- Offer to help with household tasks: Breast cancer treatments like surgery and chemotherapy can be physically and mentally exhausting for patients, so it is beneficial for family members to help with chores, grocery shopping, cooking, and other daily activities. Let your loved one know that you are available to assist with these tasks, but be willing to give her space when she needs it.
- Talk to the doctor: Understanding how breast cancer progresses and what treatment options are most beneficial is important when someone close to you is diagnosed. Ask if you can accompany your loved one to the doctor, and be prepared with questions that you may have to help you gain a clearer perspective on the situation.
- Be open to communication: For many women, having a reliable friend or family member to talk to is a great comfort. Working through cancer treatment is emotionally difficult, and it can help to express these feelings. You may also consider attending support groups with your loved one if she is having difficulties with the diagnosis.
- Take time to work through your feelings: In order to provide the best emotional support for your loved one, it is important to work through your own feelings. You may be feeling anger, sadness, denial, or even guilt, and these emotions can take a toll on you during a time when you wish to be strong for someone else. Remember that it is normal to experience these feelings and there are options such as counseling and family support groups that can provide assistance.
For more information about breast cancer treatment, contact the office of Marla W. Dudak, M.D. online or at (888) 418-6759. Our Boca Raton practice is dedicated to screening, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer with a compassionate, experienced team of medical professionals.