Susan G Komen  
I've Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer Someone I Know Was Diagnosed Share Your Story Join Us And Stay Informed Donate To End Breast Cancer
Home > Understanding Breast Cancer > Support > What is Social Support?


What is Social Support?



Getting the Support You Need
Fact Sheet


Coping with Cancer Diagnosis
Fact Sheet


For Friends & Family 

Social support is the emotional support, practical help, advice and other benefits you get from interactions with your co-survivors. Co-survivors may include:

  • Family members
  • Friends
  • Spiritual advisors
  • Co-workers and supervisors
  • Health care providers
  • Other cancer survivors  
  • Social support from co-survivors

Co-survivors give support in many different ways. For example, an oncologist provides information, hope and advice about treatment options. Friends and family may give practical help, like offering rides to and from treatments or helping with cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, child care and looking up information on the Internet. Your boss may even help you find ways to balance your job and treatment schedule.

Your co-survivors may also give emotional support that can help boost your sense of self-worth and help you feel loved, cared for and understood. Social support may be as informal as a sympathetic ear of a close friend, or as formal as a survivors' support group or going to see a therapist.  

Learn more about being a co-survivor.


 Komen Support Resources 

  • Our breast care helpline 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636) provides free, professional support services and help finding local support groups. Our trained and caring staff are available to you and your family Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST and from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. PST. 
  • Our Message Boards offer online forums for breast cancer survivors to share their experiences and advice with other breast cancer survivors. 
  • Our Co-Survivor section has detailed information and resources for family and friends. 
  • Our Family, Friends and Caregivers forum within the Message Boards offers co-survivors a place to share their own unique experiences and challenges. 
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information for survivors and co-survivors.


Updated 11/01/13

previous    Support Introduction  
  Benefits of Social Support  next