Five Ways to Support a Loved One with Breast Cancer

Second to Nature Offers Ways to Help From Diagnosis Through Recovery

Are you wondering how to support a loved one with breast cancer? Whether someone you love has a new diagnosis or gone through post-treatment recovery, breast cancer is a tumultuous journey. It’s tiring, stressful, and fraught with feelings of helplessness and fear among the whole family.

Breast cancer patients and their household members need loved ones to show emotional and practical support. This month, Second To Nature would like to share five ways you can do just that for someone in need. From cleaning and cooking and offering to provide childcare, to showing sympathy and attending events, you can help a lot.


Breast Cancer Patients Need Help with Chores, Like Cleaning and Cooking

Among the practical ways you can support loved ones with breast cancer is helping with chores. Dealing with a diagnosis, treatment, and recovery is emotionally and physically exhausting for the whole household. Regardless of how tiring a cancer journey is, daily life still goes on. The dishes still need done, the laundry still needs washed, and everyone still needs to eat.

A patient’s treatments often take a physical toll on the patient, leaving chores to the remaining household members. In a coupled household, the healthier partner or spouse tends to pick up the slack, but can’t do it indefinitely. Sometimes older kids can also help, but even they need a break now and then. Show your support by helping out with vacuuming, dusting, laundry, dishes, and more. Go the extra mile and bring prepared meals for the whole family, even if it’s fast food or pizza.


Don’t Stop With Chores – Help Patients With Kids and Provide Childcare

Another practical way to show support is to provide childcare. Parents of young children can always use help, especially when going through a cancer journey. If a loved one with breast cancer has kids and you’re familiar with them, offer to take care of them. Even if it’s just for a few hours of respite, both the patient and other parent will experience grateful relief. Little ones often enjoy playgrounds while bigger ones might like to go to a movie. If you’re willing, take the kids for a sleepover to give both parents some extended relief, rest, and relaxation.


Volunteer to Take Part in and Attend Events for Breast Cancer Awareness

One way to show both emotional and practical support is to voluntarily attend events that promote breast cancer awareness. Many times, cancer survivors and their loved ones share testimonials at events about their journey together. Sometimes people learn ways, at events, to manage their struggles by connecting to others. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Events abound for the 31 days of that month, like banquets, walks, fundraisers, and pink-outs. Even if the loved one in your life isn’t planning to attend an event, go yourself. Sign up for a 5K, either to participate or to help. Go to a “Lunch and Learn” banquet to hear from a survivor. Take part in a paint a pumpkin pink party.  Of course, wear your pink shirts, scarves, and ribbons all month long. Whatever the event, your attendance shows that you support the loved one in your life dealing with breast cancer.


When You Show Sympathy for a Person’s Struggles, They Know That You Care

Giving emotional support is just as important as practical support. When you show sympathy, you express your understanding without having first-hand experience. You don’t have to be a cancer survivor yourself to understand cancer’s difficulties. The important thing to remember about when you show sympathy is sincerity.

Going through cancer is hard; loved ones need honest sympathy from their family and friends. Don’t fake it ‘til you make it when you need to show sympathy. You can show true sympathy by listening when your loved one needs to vent. Offer him or her encouragement and compassion. Sometimes the simplest way to show sympathy is to cry when your loved one cries and laugh when your loved one laughs. Loved ones on a cancer journey know you care when you show sympathy.


Advocating for Loved Ones With Breast Cancer is to Give Them Your Support

According to, “an advocate is someone who supports or defends a cause.” To advocate for a breast cancer patient is to give support. Advocating means taking an active role in that patient’s life. On a larger scale, breast cancer awareness organizations provide programs to train cancer advocates. Trained advocates raise public awareness, advance research, and work to improve patients’ quality of care.

Working as a trained advocate could also include lobbying for policy and law changes. To do cleaning and cooking, to provide childcare, and show sympathy, add up to serving as your loved one’s advocate. You can also go with your loved one to a treatment appointment or post-treatment follow-up. If you can’t go along, touch base afterwards and ask how it went. To keep up his or her spirts, share heartening stories about other cancer survivors, especially those you know personally.


Find Ways to Support a Loved One With Breast Cancer at Second to Nature

The caring staff at Second to Nature in Roanoke, VA, are here for area residents who look to support a loved one with breast cancer. We offer helpful advice as well as post-mastectomy products to support patients in a variety of ways. Call or visit us today to find out more and visit our blog often to continue the conversation on offering support for a loved one with breast cancer.


For information on post-Mastectomy products and mastectomy education, give Second To Nature, a call at (540) 366-2711. Follow us on Facebook for updates. We are happy to discuss more about how to support a loved one with breast cancer.