If one of your friends has been diagnosed with cancer, you may be wondering how you can support them. Even though you are there to help them, it is difficult to know what to say and do.
Please do remember that there are no set rules and everyone will be different. We hope that our guide helps you and your loved one! Contact us to let us know your thoughts.
Remember to prepare yourself
It is important to process your own feelings beforehand. Hearing of such news is devastating and it can affect you. Take some time to acknowledge your feelings and learn how to cope with them. Once you have done this, you can focus more on supporting your friend.
10 of our top tips when supporting your friend
Although everybody is different, here are overall general suggestions to help you show support:
- Make plans with them. Planning activities for the future will give your friend something to look forward to, especially as cancer treatment can be longwinded.
- Be flexible with them. Make sure the plans you make are flexible and can be easily changed if something pops up. This means they won’t feel as disappointed.
- You should talk to them about how they are feeling, even if the conversation is sad. You shouldn’t ignore feelings or uncomfortable situations.
- Offer them help. Many people find it difficult to ask for help, even though they may need it. Offer to help with tasks such as taking care of children, pets or even making a meal.
- Speak to them as normal. You must continue to talk to them about topics other than cancer. What did you two do before they became ill? Bring up some happy memories. Find out more.
Helping a friend after a mastectomy
The mastectomy surgery can help to remove cancer from the breast, however after the treatment your friend may feel insecure as they feel their ‘womanhood has been taken away from them’. There are various ways of helping them learn to live with what has happened, including cosmetic treatments to improve their confidence.
An areola restoration treatment by a permanent makeup artist is designed to create the illusion of a 3D nipple and areola, helping your friend to feel like them again. This will also help to support their breast reconstruction. See more information.