Where to find support when breast cancer has spread

It can be very difficult to face an uncertain future and it is natural for women diagnosed with secondary breast cancer to feel a sense of no longer being in control.

It’s important for women with secondary breast cancer to talk to health professionals and close family and friends about how they are feeling. Some women find it helpful to set short-term goals to work towards.

Sources of support for women with secondary breast cancer

There are many different sources of support for women with secondary breast cancer.

  • Members of the healthcare team can provide support and advice.
  • Women often find it helpful to share their feelings with their partner or another family member or friend.
  • Some women also find it helpful to talk to other women with secondary breast cancer.
  • Specialist health professionals such as psychologists or counsellors can provide additional therapy if required.

Tips to help women cope with a diagnosis of secondary breast cancer

  • Relaxation can help to control pain and reduce feelings of anxiety.
  • Muscle relaxation and imagery can help with anxiety and can help reduce symptoms.
  • Support groups – some women find it helpful to meet with other people in the same situation to share their experiences, concerns and fears; meetings can be face-to-face or held over the telephone or internet.
  • Counselling with a trained health professional can help you think more clearly about your feelings and help you deal with issues that may have been brought up by your diagnosis and treatment.
  • Anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication can be valuable to get you through difficult times. You will usually only need to take medication for a short period of time. Taking medication does not mean that you are ‘weak’ or ‘crazy’. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and side effects of medications that might be helpful for you.