How to Help a Friend Beat Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

October in breast cancer awareness month, and it is a time where a lot of much due attention is given to those that have dealt with this affliction.  Nearly one in eight women will have to unfortunately go through breast cancer.  Even if this malady has not directly affected your life, you probably know someone who has had to deal with breast cancer.

It is difficult to find the right words to say to someone who is dealing with this disease.  You want to comfort them and be there for them, but what can you really do for them?  You want them to know that you are readily available to do anything they need, but it can be hard to express that feeling in words.  Here are some ways you can help someone with breast cancer, compiled by Maureen Broderick, a clinical social worker who runs cancer support groups.

Be An Advocate

There aren’t really any warning signs for cancer.  All of us have active lives with responsibilities, so when a serious health issue comes up, we are going to need help with everything in our lives.  If your friend is going through cancer treatment, be an advocate for them.  Take them to doctor’s appointments, ask if they need any help with their household chores, just be a good friend to them as this time in their lives is tremendously difficult.  Give your friend the support she needs to help deal with her treatment.

Keep Things Light

Often times, a cancer patient does not want to constantly be reminded of their affliction, so try to keep things light if that’s what they want.  Try to stay upbeat and relay funny anecdotes or stories to help keep your friend’s spirits up.  Having a positive attitude can help someone going through an awful time in their life.  Remember to know who your friend is, and only implement a lighthearted attitude if that’s what would benefit them the most.

Give Open-Ended Invites

A person undergoing radiation or other treatments may not know how they are going to feel day to day.  One day they may feel in good spirits, the next, they may feel very sick.  Give them an open invitation to come visit them and help with whatever they need.  This way, they know that they can always rely on you and don’t have to feel obligated to see you when they aren’t feeling well.  The important part is to remind them that you’re there for them and that you care.


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