A diagnosis of breast cancer can bring on a wide range of emotions including shock, fear, denial, sadness and anger. Although time may ease these feelings, they may never fully go away .
As you go through the different stages of grief and healing, a social support network can help you address the emotional impact of the diagnosis. Studies show support from formal and informal sources can improve quality of life [2-3].
Social support may reduce [4-8]:
- Anxiety and stress
- Emotional distress and depression
- The experience of pain
Social support may improve [4-8]:
- Ability to cope with stress
- Sexual function and enjoyment
- Feelings of control
In addition to emotional support, social networks can provide practical help that can make life a little easier (such as giving rides to and from treatments or help with child care).