Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Breast Cancer Health Center

Select An Article
Font Size

Breast Cancer and Tips for Family

The person with the breast cancer is not the only one affected. Family members and friends are also influenced by health changes of a loved one.

Here are some tips to help family and friends cope with a loved one's diagnosis:

Recommended Related to Breast Cancer

Me and the Girls: Diane Morgan

WebMD senior writer Miranda Hitti interviewed breast cancer survivors as part of a series for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The series, called “Me & the Girls,” explores the personal stories of these women after they were diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer survivor Diane Morgan, 71, lives in Santa Rosa, Calif. now. But her breast cancer story began in 2005, when she was 67 and and living near Miami in Sunny Isles, Fla. That's one of the places where Hurricane Katrina struck...

Read the Me and the Girls: Diane Morgan article > >

  • Write your questions down so you don’t forget them. If okay with your loved one, feel free to ask the doctor these question at an appointment. You may want to share your questions with your loved ones before you go.
  • Be prepared for changes in your loved one's behavior and mood. Medications, discomforts, and stress may cause your loved one to become depressed, angry, or fatigued.
  • Encourage your loved one to be active and independent, as much as possible, to help her regain a sense of self-reliance and control.
  • Be realistic about your own needs. Be sure you are sleeping enough, eating properly, and taking some time off for yourself. It is hard to offer much help when you are exhausted. If you take care of your needs, it may be easier to meet the needs of your loved one.
  • Don't hesitate to ask other family members and friends for help. They will appreciate the opportunity to help.

 

Family members and friends of a person coping with breast cancer may also find themselves under a great deal of stress. To reduce your stress:

  • Keep a positive attitude.
  • Accept that there are events you cannot control.
  • Be assertive instead of aggressive. "Assert" your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.
  • Learn to relax.
  • Exercise regularly. Your body can fight stress better when you are physically fit.
  • Eat well-balanced meals.
  • Rest and sleep. Your body needs time to recover from stressful events. Don't rely on alcohol or drugs to reduce stress.
  • Consider joining a support group.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Sujana Movva, MD on June 24, 2014
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Breast Cancer Overview
From self-exams and biopsies to reconstruction, we’ve got you covered.
Dealing with breast cancer
Get answers to your questions.
 
woman having mammogram
Experts don’t agree on all fronts, but you can be your own advocate.
woman undergoing breast cancer test
Many women worry. But the truth? Most abnormalities aren’t breast cancer.
 
Breast Cancer Treatments Improving
VIDEO
Resolved To Quit Smoking
SLIDESHOW
 
Woman getting mammogram
Article
Screening Tests for Women
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
serious woman
Article
 
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
10 Ways to Revitalize Slideshow
SLIDESHOW