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How Can I Help? Supporting Someone with Breast Cancer

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at ODU chapter.

October is breast cancer awareness month, and it’s important to consider this when going about your normal life. According to Mayo Clinic, over 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. It’s not something that’s entirely uncommon anymore, and it’s not unlikely that you will meet someone who is dealing with breast cancer. In those times, it’s important to remember how to support them, and help them while they get through it, so here are some tips on supporting those with breast cancer.


1. Listen


Possibly the most obvious thing you can do to help is to just listen. Getting diagnosed with cancer is huge, and it’s a scary time for a lot of people. Sometimes, people get too focused on what they can do to help that they forget to just sit and listen and hear people out. That’s more important, to know exactly where people are coming from and what they’re thinking.


2. Help

Along with a diagnosis of cancer can come a slew of other things. Sometimes, just doing the most mundane tasks can help someone out. Picking up groceries, or walking a dog, can be the most simple task to you, but take a huge load off of their shoulders.


3. Support


Support not only the person you know struggling but also the many different organizations and education programs that spread awareness. Donate, run 5k’s, and make sure that you are spreading the word. It’s an issue and needs to be addressed, so address it.


4. Surprise them!

Breast cancer is a depressing thing. Make sure that your friend or loved one isn’t letting it get the best of them. Bring them nice little surprises. It could be something as easy as doing each other’s nails or bringing their favorite movie. Just be kind, and think of any way to cheer them up. It could be easier than you think.


5. Research


Medical terms are the most confusing terms. If someone needs help sifting through the paperwork, or help understanding what exactly is going on – help them. It sounds like a mundane task, but it might keep them sane.


Remember that every situation is different. And these tips might work for one person, but not another. Treat every situation seriously and delicately. Be there for your friend or family member, and try to help them as much as you can. Sometimes, it’s just easier to listen, but make sure you talk it through with them and do what they need you to do.  

Hello! My name is Lindsey Lanham. I go to Old Dominion Univeristy in Norfolk VA, and am currently majoring in journalism with a minor in communication. I am the marketing director for the ODU chapter. I hope to shine light on the local art and artists in Norfolk.