> Counseling, Social Support and Support Groups for People with Metastatic Breast Cancer
Counseling (either one-on-one or in a group setting) can improve mental well-being and quality of life for people with metastatic breast cancer. These sessions may help:
- Improve communication with family members
- Discuss fears about death and dying
Social support is an important benefit of group therapy. Support groups can provide a place to belong and to express feelings. Many people feel an intense bond with other group members and a sense of acceptance through sharing a common experience. Social support from the group can ease some of the feelings of social isolation that can separate you from well-meaning but anxious friends and family.
Social support is important for everyone with breast cancer. However people with metastatic breast cancer deal with issues that are quite different from those of people with early stage breast cancer. So, a support group tailored to people with metastatic cancer of any kind will be more helpful than a support group tailored to people with early stage breast cancer.
Learn more about social support and support groups.
After breast cancer treatment ends
Although metastatic cancer cannot be cured, treatment may extend life. The side effects of some therapies, however, can affect quality of life. At some point during the process, treatment to control the cancer may be stopped. This can happen when treatment stops showing any benefit or when it greatly affects quality of life. Once treatment is stopped, reducing any cancer-related symptoms (called palliative care) becomes the main focus, rather than just a part of treatment.
This can be a very difficult time. Your health care provider or hospital can arrange for counseling or a support group to help you address and manage your feelings and emotions at this stage of cancer care. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) website has information on end-of-life planning and care, including questions to ask your health care provider.
Learn more about support groups, hospice and other types of support.