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If you have a friend or coworker who has breast cancer, you probably want to know what you can do to help.
And you may be a little curious about what she’s going through. We applaud your desire to help, and this article includes some things you should know. But you should also know that this is a time when your friend or colleague may want to retreat somewhat from public life to battle their illness in private. We know that if, and when, that time comes, you’ll respect and understand their decision. (And we also know you’ll be there to help celebrate when they re-emerge to tackle life anew.)
Your friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer and you wonder, how can I help? What can I do? There are many things you can do for her, to make this terrifying experience a little easier for her to endure. First of all, you should be sure that she wants your help. The best way to support a friend with breast cancer is to talk to her. Show her this list and tell her you want to be there for her in as many of the ways listed below as she will allow. Let her know what you want to do, and be open to her need for privacy if she declines your offer. And if she declines, wait a while, and ask again. As her friend, you will know what she is comfortable letting you do, and what makes her uncomfortable.
Again, the most important thing you can do is ask her to let you help. Be compassionate, understanding and empathetic. Don’t make her feel like an invalid; make her feel loved, surrounded, by a circle of friendship and caring.