Building community when diagnosed with breast cancer

11 Mar 2021

Building a supportive community when diagnosed with breast cancer or BRCA is vital to your journey. Here are some tips and resources to make creating that community easier.

your journey—your needs

This is your journey—make sure you prioritize your needs. Take some time to understand yourself (are you introverted or extroverted); how you think you’ll feel (which can depend on the phase your disease is in); and who you’ll want to involve (family, friends, fellow survivors and previvors).

If you want to learn more about online forums or message boards, Facebook groups, mentor matching, virtual support groups, or local groups, check out our guide to finding communities

skip the small talk

People mean well but can say things that end up being complicated or hurtful—especially if you choose to get breast reconstruction surgery. We’re here to let you know it’s absolutely your choice—and a personal decision.

If you need some help framing the conversation, we’ve created a guide you can share that includes what people should (or shouldn’t) say.

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help your friends help you

Few things can bring joy to our lives quite like our friends. The laughs, the tears—we’re stronger because of each other. But your friends may struggle to understand, or not know what to say. Even harder, their attempts at offering solace might fall short, because this is your journey, not theirs.

If you want to provide your friends some suggestions of how they can help, ask them to read through our list of 10 ways to support a friend.

it’s okay to feel it all

We know cancer can be lonely, and we know there are times you won’t feel understood. But there’s a broader community that cares about you and wants to support you, and we hope these resources make it a little easier for you.

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