Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

A diagnosis of breast cancer may be one of the most difficult situations you'll ever face. It can set off a roller coaster of emotions, from shock and fear to anger, anxiety or depression. There's no "right" way to feel and act when you're dealing with cancer. With time you'll find your own way of coping with your feelings. Until then, you may find comfort if you:

  • Learn enough about your cancer to make treatment decisions. Ask your doctor for details about your cancer — the type, stage and treatment options. The more you know, the more comfortable you may feel when making treatment decisions. Ask your doctor to recommend good sources of information where you can learn more. Good places to start include the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.
  • Seek support from family and friends. Your close friends and family provide a support system that can help you cope during treatment. They can help you with the small tasks around the house you may not have the energy for during treatment. And they can be there to listen when you need someone to talk with.
  • Connect with other cancer survivors. Other cancer survivors can offer unique support and insight because they understand what you're experiencing. Connect with other cancer survivors through support groups in your community. Ask your doctor about support groups or contact your local chapter of the American Cancer Society. Online support groups are also available at sites such as Breastcancer.org.
  • Take care of yourself. During your treatment, allow yourself time to rest. Take good care of your body by getting enough sleep so you wake feeling rested, choosing a diet full of fruits and vegetables, staying as physically active as you're able, and taking time to relax. Try to maintain at least some of your daily routine, including social activities.
May. 22, 2012