Breast Cancer Support Guide & Groups to Follow
Despite having a strong support system, breast cancer can take a devastating emotional toll on people. Luckily, there are many resources available to assist you in coping with your diagnosis and treatment, such as support groups.
“The main benefits being profound camaraderie in upcoming changes, subsequent aftermath, and everything in-between,” said Clarisa Valdez, an engineering operations analyst at FabFitFun who was diagnosed with stage 1B triple negative breast cancer. “It’s a surprisingly relatable open forum!”
Valdez caught her cancer while getting a routine MRI after discovering she was BRCA1 & 2 positive. She received a nipple-sparing double mastectomy followed by four rounds of chemotherapy and has recently celebrated her three-year mark, and she said it’s crucial that cancer patients join support groups.
Keep reading to discover AnaOno's breast cancer support guide and groups to follow.
What Support is Available for Breast Cancer?
There are many resources available to you when dealing with cancer, and it is important to take full advantage of all the resources at your disposal. The three main types of support are:
- Group Support
- One-On-One Counseling
- Financial Support
Support Groups for Breast Cancer Patients
If you have breast cancer, you may be considering joining a support group. One great thing about support groups is that they are readily accessible in many communities for free. The important thing to remember is that all groups are unique, and different groups may work for different people.
Joining one can help you feel less alone, instill hope, and provide healing. In addition, those who have encountered a similar diagnosis to you may have helpful insight, advice, and understanding. Check out a list of support groups for breast cancer patients below.
Cancer Support Community (CSC)
CSC offers a variety of professionally-led programs with over 170 locations worldwide, including support groups, yoga classes, educational workshops, and more. Find out if they have a support system near you, here.
CancerCare provides free professional support services along with breast cancer information and additional resources to those impacted by breast cancer. Check out all of their services, here, including counseling, support groups, case management, community programs, financial assistance, and more.
The Breasties provide support and friendship for those facing breast and reproductive cancers. They hold monthly Zoom calls to update members and offer support, and you can join one of the many chapters through the U.S. If you type in ‘breasties’ on your search page on Instagram, you’ll see all of the cities they are currently operating in. Shoot them a message to join their next virtual meet up!
Valdez also helps host the monthly Zoom meetings and engage with the community on social media as one of the Co-Ambassadors of the SoCal Breasties. Despite the misconception about participation requirements, she said that SoCal Breasties is very sensitive to everyone’s preference.
“Whether you’re new and just want to listen [or] scope out the scene, a supportive friend [or] family member seeking advice or even a returning member having an on or off day, we don’t pressure anyone to participate more than they’re comfortable,” Valdez said. “We encourage all kinds of emotion!”
Counseling for Breast Cancer Patients
Take care of your psychological well-being with the help of counseling. Counseling can help alleviate the emotional turmoil caused by breast cancer. We often become hyper-focused on taking care of our bodies during treatment, however, it is equally as important to make sure we're nurturing our mental health, as well. You can get group counseling, one-on-one counseling, and online counseling.
First, check with your healthcare provider to see if any counseling is available to you through them. Oftentimes, you’ll have to cover a copay for each session.
Additional One-On-One Counseling Services
- CancerCare: Oncology social workers offer counseling and assistance to people facing breast cancer. Contact CancerCare at 800‑813‑HOPE (4673) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Group Counseling Services
It can be helpful to participate in group counseling in order to gain insights into your cancer diagnosis and treatment. Check out some ways to discover group counseling services near you below.
- Call the hospital in your area and inquire about this service
- Ask your social worker or doctor for recommendations
- Do a quick online search - this will be helpful for finding in-person and local groups
- Talk to your community
Online Counseling Services
Financial Assistance for Breast Cancer Patients
The main aspects of a cancer diagnosis that you may need financial assistance with include:
- Medical and Treatment
- Housing and Living Expenses
If you are in need of financial assistance, check out AnaOno’s guide to financial assistance for cancer patients.
In addition, check out some great resources below that offer financial assistance for breast cancer patients.
- Pink Aid’s Pink Purse
- The Assistance Fund
- My Hope Chest
- Pink Daisy Project
- Magnolia Meals at Home
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- American Cancer Society
- Ronald Mcdonald House Charities
- Mercy Medical Angels
Additional One-On-On Support for Breast Cancer Patients
A great deal of power comes from harnessing a community; however, taking care of one's mental health is equally as important. Ensure that you do so with the help of some one-on-one guidance with the help of these organizations below and their free programs.
- Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered: Through the support of their peers and professionals, no one has to face hereditary cancer alone. Join their Peer Navigator Program, here.
- Imerman Angels: Request a Mentor Angel with the help of Imerman Angels. Through the program, you can receive one-on-one support from someone who has been trained and screened from someone who has been in your shoes. Join their Mentor Angel program, here.
Social Media Support Groups for Breast Cancer Patients
Never underestimate the power of a hashtag. Find a strong community with the help of Instagram by going to your discovery page and typing in hashtags relevant to the experience you’re having or by using relevant hashtags in your own posts.
For example, if you go to the discovery page of your Instagram and type in #mastectomytips, there are lots of helpful posts about how to take care of your body after this type of surgery. Lots of the people behind these accounts are open to receiving inquiries and messages about their posts, as well, so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.
Check out some accounts below on social media Valdez recommends following, as well!
- For The Breast Of Us
- Rethink Breast Cancer
- Hip-Hop Happy Hour
- Young Survival Coalition
- Talking Back At Cancer on Clubhouse
Additional Resources for Breast Cancer Patients
Living Beyond Breast Cancer
Our ultimate favorite organization that provides many levels of support, from one-on-one matchmaking through the Help Hotline to community activities and trusted information visit their website
ACS’s National Cancer Information Center
You can reach their Cancer Information Specialists by calling their toll-free number, 1.800.227.2345, 24 hours a day, every day of the week. The Live Chat feature is also available Monday through Friday between 7 AM and 6:30 PM CST on their website.
If you live in Southern California, Valdez has this message for you: