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Supporting a Friend with Breast Cancer: 8 Dos and Don’ts

By Sheryl Kraft
October 14, 2022

Your good friend was just diagnosed with breast cancer. Her world has been upended. She’s shocked, frightened, and sad. And though the threat of breast cancer is omnipresent for 1 in 8 women, she never expected to come face to face with it.

Then, just like that, for the first time in the history of your friendship, you’re tongue-tied, unsure of what to say or do. How can you help? You want to say something, but you’re afraid of saying the wrong thing. You want to be supportive and upbeat, but you’re feeling shocked and scared, too.

It happened to me. First, as the patient, at age 34, and later, on the other side, as the friend trying to help someone else facing their own diagnosis. Logic would dictate that, since I already experienced breast cancer, I’d be well-equipped to help my friends. But logic often fails when it comes to matters of health or the heart.