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Getting through the first few weeks

If you have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, it’s likely that this will dominate your thoughts and conversations over the next few weeks.

No matter how you’re feeling, try not to overwhelm yourself. Try to remember that most women survive breast cancer and that you are not alone.

If you are feeling like breast cancer is dominating your every thought, try some of the following strategies:

  • Be kind to yourself. There can be a lot of uncertainty and anxiety, especially while you are waiting for test results to come back. 
  • Talk to your doctor if your usual relaxation techniques don’t work.
  • Give yourself a ‘cancer free’ weekend with a partner or friend and do something you both enjoy.
  • If updating family and friends is getting you down, pop a message on your answering machine or social media account to let them know how you’re going. 
  • Take advantage of the support that is offered to you. Lean on family and friends if you want to, or think about getting professional support from a qualified counsellor or psychologist. Your GP can refer you to someone appropriate.
  • If you want to talk to someone who has experienced breast cancer, visit BCNA’s online network to connect with others in a similar experience.

Shared experience

Find out what other Australian women have had to say about their experiences of connecting with others and the effects that breast cancer can have on family and friends. In the videos below, women who have experienced breast cancer share their insights into what helped them feel supported.

Finding reliable breast cancer information on the internet

If you have been newly diagnosed, you may wish to look online for information to help support you during this time. While there is good quality, reliable information on the internet, there is also information that may be unhelpful, inaccurate and scary.

BCNA’s fact sheet, Beware Dr Google: A guide to reliable breast cancer information on the internet is designed to help you find good quality information on the internet. It contains a list of reliable Australian and international websites. The fact sheet also discusses what is available on each website, and the electronic version contains links to useful sections.

Please remember that not all of the information you read will be relevant to you and your specific diagnosis. If you have any questions about your diagnosis or about the information you read, please talk to a member of your treatment team.

More information

  • Sign up to My Journey. It’s full of information for women newly diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • If you are thinking of starting a family or having more children in the future, you may like to read the fertility section of the Breast cancer in young women page. 
  • If you are working our section on work and breast cancer may help you to evaluate your work and financial situation.
  • Read Domini Stuart’s book, You can get through this. It’s a helpful resource for staying positive while coping with breast cancer.