How can I help?
Facing breast cancer is difficult, and often just being there for the person is the most important thing. It will help them feel they are supported during this period in their lives.
The following ideas can help you support your colleague during their breast cancer treatment, and beyond:
- Treat them as normally as possible, but let them know you understand.
- Let them know you have time to sit and listen to them.
- Don’t be afraid to ask how they are feeling.
- If they share how they're feeling, such as their fears or worries, it’s important to let them be sad or upset.
- Try not to offer advice if they haven’t asked for it, as it can cause unnecessary worry.
- Respect their privacy and don’t share details with others unless they have asked you to.
- Include them in social functions even if they aren’t at work. They may say no, but it will help them feel like they are still a part of the team.
When I would visit, the support I was given [by colleagues] really helped me through some tough times and reduced that terrible sense of isolation you get when you are sick for an extended period.
If you would like further information on how you can help your colleague, you might like to consider the following resources:
- Our Helping a friend or colleague page on our website has more information for colleagues.
- Download or order a copy of the Helping a friend or colleague with breast cancer booklet.
- Read personal stories from people who have been affected by breast cancer.
- Call BCNA on 1800 500 258 for free and confidential information, support and referral.