In the October 2008 edition of Homemakers Magazine, Blair Lancaster, the executive director of Breast Cancer Support Services in Burlington, Ontario offered this advice on what to say to a friend with breast cancer:

  • Listen: do not interrupt when she is telling you her story; let her cry if she needs to; give her a hug.
  • There really is not much to say except that you are sorry this has happened to her. Tell her as well, that you are there to help support her through it.
  • Don’t say, “what can I do to help?” Instead, offer something tangible such as, “I’m going to come over and do your laundry.” Or, “I’m available to babysit or drive the kids to school.”
  • Don’t say, “I have read about this great cancer treatment and think you should try it.”
  • Be open and realistic about what you can and can’t do.
  • Never underestimate the effect of random encouraging cards.

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