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Sources of Support   

Once you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, your life, and the life of those around you can change dramatically. These changes can be difficult to deal with, and can put strains on your relationships. It is normal that you develop many different, and sometimes confusing feelings.

You may worry about your job, family, or your daily habits. It is also common to worry about the treatment and side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills. Members of your health care team, such as your doctor, can answer questions about treatment, work, sports, or other activities which you might have. You might also want to meet with a social worker, counselor, or religious aid. This can be quite helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. A social worker is also in an excellent position to suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support which you can use during, and after, your fight against the cancer.

You can also look for support from friends and relatives. You may find it helpful to discuss your concerns with others who have, or have had, cancer. Your local hospital, or breast cancer organization might organize support groups for women with breast cancer. These support groups offer women a secure environment where they can talk openly about their experiences during and after their treatment. What you should keep in mind is that each woman is different. The way someone else copes with her disease might not be the right way for you. There is more information about support groups available.

Most women are afraid that changes to their body will not only affect themselves, but also how other people feel about them. They worry that breast cancer, and its treatment, will affect their sexual relationships. Many couples find it helpful to talk about their concerns, through counseling or a couples' support group.

 

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