Breast Cancer Support Organizations

When you were first diagnosed with breast cancer, you may have felt very alone. But you must realize early on that you are not alone. Many people care about you and want to help you during this time. Initially, it may be difficult to tell what kind of help you will need and from whom. But do not be afraid to reach out for help when you feel like you need it.

When you start treatment, you might need help keeping up with housework, cooking meals for yourself and your family or even the smallest of daily activities. You may need help getting to and from the hospital, doctor’s appointments and treatment facilities. Reach out to people when you need them and let them help you.

There are thousands of breast cancer survivors in the United States, several of which are probably in your area. It should not be difficult for you to find someone in your community to talk to and share experiences with, if you are ready for that. Will her experience have been exactly like yours? No, of course it will not be. Each case of breast cancer is unique to the individual. However, any breast cancer survivor will be able to relate at least somewhat to your fears, your questions and your concerns in ways that someone who has not been through breast cancer cannot. They may be able to give you advice, hope, answer questions and reassure you that you are not alone.

There are also national support groups for breast cancer patients. The American Cancer Society sponsors several breast cancer support groups, including “Reach to Recovery,” “I Can Cope,” and “Look Good…Feel Better.” A brief description of each of these programs provided below, but more information can be found on the ACS website,

Knowledge will empower you, so it is important to learn as much as you can using reputable resources such as the American Cancer Society, Centers for Disease Control, Prevention’s National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program and Living Beyond Cancer.1

If you do not like reading or cannot concentrate on what you are reading, another option are podcasts. Podcasts are short recordings that can be downloaded to an mp3 player or “iPod”. The sound of a voice may be more comforting to you than reading.2

Support Experts Available in All Areas

“Reach to Recovery” is a counseling program that connects newly diagnosed breast cancer patients to others who have been through breast cancer treatment. Volunteers in this organization have been helping men and women fight breast cancer for more than thirty years. In addition to peer-counseling, “Reach to Recovery” offers support to patients’ families and friends—supporting those who are supporting you.

“I Can Cope” is a program that sponsors free classes to discuss all aspects of cancer, from medical to personal. Classes have presentations followed by question-and-answer sessions to allow for discussion.

“Look Good…Feel Better” was founded by the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association Foundation and was developed in coordination with the ACS and the National Cosmetology Association. Volunteers, who have been certified after completing a four-hour cosmetology training session, help teach female cancer patients techniques to protect their skin, apply make-up, how to wear and care for wigs and how to wear head coverings such as scarves, wraps and hats.

Whether it is family, friends, coworkers, strangers in a support group, or a combination of these, make sure you reach out to someone for help. You will need it. This is not a journey that you should make alone.


1 What is Breast Cancer? (2011, October). Retrieved from Genetics Home Reference:

2  Breast Cancer. (2011). Retrieved from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

This article was originally published on July 27,2012 and last revision and update of it was 9/2/2015.