Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be shocking and upsetting. With time you'll find ways to cope with the stress and challenges of cancer and cancer treatment. Until then, you might find it helpful to:
- Learn enough about your cancer to feel comfortable making treatment decisions. Ask your doctor for the specifics of your cancer, such as the type of cancer and its stage. Also ask about good sources for reliable information. You can also do your own research. Start with the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Learning about your cancer and your treatment options may make you feel more confident as you make decisions about your future.
- Find someone to talk with. Find a close friend or family member you can talk with. Talking about your fears and hopes as you make important choices about your treatment might help you feel less stressed. Sometimes, though, you may feel like friends and family can't understand your situation if they've never had cancer. In these situations, you may find the concern and understanding of other men with cancer especially helpful. Your doctor or a medical social worker may be able to put you in touch with a support group. Or contact an organization that can connect you with another man with breast cancer, such as the Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization.
- Take care of yourself. Take care of yourself during your cancer treatment. Get enough sleep so that you wake feeling rested. Choose a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Try to exercise most days of the week. Find relaxing activities that help reduce your stress level, such as listening to music or meditating.
- Male breast cancer treatment (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/malebreast/patient. Accessed Jan. 18, 2012.
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- Gomez-Raposo C, et al. Male breast cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews. 2010;36:451.
- Brain K, et al. Psychological distress in men with breast cancer. American Journal of Clinical Oncology. 2006;24:95.
- Distress management. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Jan. 18, 2012.