Search our collections

    No.130: Breast Cancer Support Guide & Groups to Follow

    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

    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

    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 info@cancercare.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 
    • Emotional 
    • Food 
    • Transportation
    • 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. 

    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.

    • 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! 

    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: 

    “Whether you're a previvor, newly diagnosed, in active treatment, a supportive friend [or] family member, we understand how overwhelming the cancer experience can be,” Valdez said. “Just know there is always a loving seat for you in the SoCal Breasties group.”

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.