A breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating. Luckily there are people who can help you educate yourself, cope, and stay sane through every stage of treatment, recovery, and loss. Thanks to the Internet, a global community of survivors like you is available day and night at the touch of a few keystrokes.
American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society offers resources, including online support groups, to people facing all types of cancer and to their caregivers. The WhatNext social network offers support after an initial diagnosis. The Cancer Survivors Network online support group operates an email list, forums, and chat rooms and helps members create personal blogs. The Circle of Sharing allows survivors to create individual “circles” for sharing information with select family and friends.
Breast Cancer Support is an online support group run entirely by survivors and supported by donations. There is no registration process. The webpage guides newcomers through introducing themselves and posting to specialty boards for various issues.
BreastCancer.org is a non-profit organization that provides online education and community. Online peer support is available through discussion boards. The site also features an expert blog, podcasts, archive of online conferences with health professionals, and resources for scheduling real-life get-togethers.
Professional Mental Health Support
Cancer Support Community, an international cancer education and support network, operates a variety of online support groups called The Living Room. Support groups meet online in real time for 90 minutes per session and are run by mental health professionals. Topics vary and include different types of cancer, survivorship and treatment, bereavement, and caregiver support. Membership is free and includes a personal webpage and 24 hour forum access.
Advanced and Metastatic Breast Cancer
Metastatic Breast Cancer Information and Support runs an email list specifically for people facing advanced breast cancer. The list is a peer-to-peer support community that operates like an online forum. You sign up to receive email messages that members post to the list, and you can choose to reply to everyone or to virtually meet and correspond with individual members.
Children, Spouses, and Family
Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a national non-profit breast cancer research, outreach, and advocacy organization, defines “co-survivor” as anyone who lends support to a breast cancer patient, from spouses to oncologists. The organization runs multiple online support groups through its message boards for family, friends, and caregivers, as well as for people coping with a high risk of breast cancer, a diagnosis, and those undergoing every stage of treatment, recovery, advancing cancer, survivorship, and bereavement
First Clicks: A Select List of Online Resources, AdvancedBC.org: Metastatic Breast Cancer Information and Support for Patients, Family Members and Friends
How to Use the List, BCMets.org: Metastatic Breast Cancer Information and Support
Online Cancer Support, Cancer Support Community: A Global Network of Education and Hope
Online Communities and Support, American Cancer Society
Sources of Support for Family and Loved Ones, Susan G. Komen
Support Groups, Susan G. Komen