Support groups can help breast cancer patients know they’re not alone. It can be a comfort to share your experience with others in the same situation and to get tips and information from others who understand. Support groups can provide an increased quality of life and better psychological well-being for people with breast cancer.
Some support groups are led by professionals and others by people living with the disease. There are pros and cons to both. Professionals are trained and experienced in moderating group dynamics, but often do not have personal knowledge of breast cancer. People living with the disease have that personal knowledge, but they may not always know how to respond to difficult group situations. When looking for a support group, ask the group leader about his or her credentials and experience in leading groups of breast cancer patients.
When you first attend a support group, you may feel more comfortable listening than speaking, but as you get to know the group better, you’ll likely find it easier to open up.
To find a support group in your area, visit the Canadian Cancer Society’s Community Services Locator or contact your local cancer treatment agency to see what programs they offer. Many provincial cancer treatment agencies have a variety of support groups operating throughout their provinces.
There may not be a metastatic specific support group in your area or you may not feel comfortable going to support group for all stages of breast cancer. More and more, women living with metastatic breast cancer are making connections online. Visit the Online Support section for a list of metastatic specific resources.