How to support a friend with breast cancer

Four ways to be a source of support to a friend with breast cancer

The Breast Friends campaign celebrates the special friendship that exists between women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and the friends who help them through diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A Breast Friend can be a friend or family member who provides the emotional and practical support a woman with breast cancer needs. Since one in nine Canadian women will develop breast cancer at some point during her lifetime, someone you know may need a Breast Friend.

If you have a friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, follow these tips to be her Breast Friend and give her the help she needs.

Be There – Ask what you can do to help and provide moral support. Offer to help with daily chores and activities or go to medical appointments to help record important information.

Know Her Type – There are many different types of breast cancer and it is important for a woman to find out her type of breast cancer at diagnosis. Together, ask about the tests that are available to identify her type of breast cancer, as some types, such as ‘HER2-positive’ breast cancer, require individualized treatment.

Ask Questions – Support her in asking questions so she knows more about her treatment, what to expect, how long it will take, side effects, etc.

Empower Yourselves – Help her learn as much as she can because information is power. Do research together and make sure you both learn the terminology. Take advantage of the information available from the different breast cancer organizations.

For more information, visit or call 1-866-RETHINK.

Need more info? Check out our breast cancer resources to find out what you can do.


Canadian Cancer Society/ National Cancer Institute of Canada: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2007