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Tips for asking for help about secondary breast cancer

It can be difficult to ask for help but remember, many people will seek emotional support throughout their lives for lots of different reasons.

Tips for how to bring up issues of emotional and practical care for breast cancer

  • “I’ve been having trouble sleeping/feeling really down/feeling like I’m not coping lately and I’ve heard there are treatments that can help. Can I talk to you about this?”
  • “I haven’t been coping as well as I want to, and I feel like I need some help managing. Do you know about services that can help me with this?”
  • “ I read something about emotional care for people with cancer. I’ve realised that I find it very hard to cope sometimes and I would like to talk to someone about it.”

Does asking for help mean I’m weak?

Some people who are having trouble coping don’t necessarily want to seek professional help. However, talking to a health professional about how you are feeling doesn’t mean you are ‘crazy’ or weak. It’s normal – just like it’s normal to seek professional help for an injury or pain.

Some people find that after talking with their doctor they feel they can manage on their own or with their family’s support – and that’s fine too. Others find it helpful to talk to someone who has been through a similar situation, for example through a support group or peer support.

The main thing is for women with breast cancer to be aware of their reactions to stressful events and any changes in mood, feelings and energy levels. If things change down the track, some professional support may be helpful.