Managing emotional changes due to breast cancer


For many people, the first few weeks after the diagnosis are very stressful. You may have trouble thinking, eating or sleeping.  

Common responses to a diagnosis of cancer include feeling shocked, angry, scared, anxious, powerless, sad or depressed. Some people feel a sense of loneliness or isolation or that they have lost their identity. 

It’s important to give yourself time to adjust and to seek the emotional, practical and financial support you need. 

Read more about what you can expect and ways to manage the emotional aspects of living with cancer. 

Complementary therapies may help you cope with the side effects of your treatment, and improve your wellbeing. Please discuss with your treating team if you would like to consider complementary therapies alongside your conventional treatment. 

Talking to your family and friends

A cancer diagnosis also has a significant impact on the people close to you, including children, partner, parents, friends and colleagues. Their support throughout your cancer journey will be invaluable, and it’s important to talk to them openly.  

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For partners of people with breast cancer

A diagnosis of breast cancer can be extremely stressful for partners, too. 

There is a lot you can do to support how to support your partner through breast cancer and what you as a partner can do. But it’s also important to look after yourself, accept any help offered to you, and seek support if you need it.  

Find more information for partners of people with breast cancer

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For more information about symptoms and side effects of metastatic breast cancer, see the issues for women with metastatic breast cancer section.