Helping a friend cope with fear, stress?

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Question from DonnaA: My friend has a lump on her breast and under her armpit. She went for a needle biopsy one week ago, but she found another lump on her breast. She also has burning and soreness on her breast and armpit. Yesterday she told me she felt weakness in her legs. I don't want her getting stressed out over it. Can you help me with a suggestion to help her cope with it? Plus she is scared of the diagnosis.
Answers - Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. In this situation where you're suspicious over a diagnosis of cancer, people need to rally around to help the person pursue the diagnosis. The feeling ought to be first: we need information and we can tackle whatever is in front of us. Without the diagnosis or information, things can get out of hand and we're flying in unknown territory without information. If you should get the diagnosis of breast cancer, we'll have a plan, we'll get treatment, and together with a lot of support you can help her get through this.
Marc Silver It's really important that your friend has someone with her at doctor visits. And whether it's a family member or a friend it can make a huge impact having someone along listening with her. And perhaps taking notes of what the doctor says, or tape recording the visit.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Partners, Loved Ones, Caregivers: Taking Care of You featured Author Marc Silver and moderator Rosalind Kleban, L.C.S.W. answering your questions about how you can take care of your loved one and yourself during and after breast cancer treatment.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in February 2007.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.

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