Coping with Cancer DiagnosisFact Sheet
Getting the Support You NeedFact Sheet
For Friends & Family
Living with breast cancer, you may feel sadness, fear, anger and confusion, along with many other emotions. These responses are normal. Some people find support groups or talking to a counselor or therapist helpful in coping with these feelings.
Learn more about support groups.
For some, dealing with breast cancer can lead to serious depression and severe emotional distress. These feelings may be strongest the first year after diagnosis . If the symptoms listed below last longer than two weeks, they are signs of clinical depression. It’s important to talk to a health care provider or see a therapist right away if you have [34-35]:
Depression needs to be treated, just like the breast cancer itself. Your provider may prescribe short-term antidepressant therapy if you are going through a difficult period. However, be sure to talk to your oncologist before taking any medications for depression as some can interfere with breast cancer treatments (for example some types of antidepressants may interfere with the hormone therapy drug tamoxifen).
Health Care Providers