Finding support when you are caring for someone with advanced breast cancer

Breast cancer

Caring for the carer

Caring for someone with ABC

Caring for someone with ABC

Caring for someone with ABC can be physically, emotionally and sometimes financially challenging. Your role may change from partner, parent, family member and/or friend to carer and can invoke a wide range of emotions, including worry, fear, sadness, anger and frustration. 

It is important to acknowledge your role as a carer so you can get the support you need to cope and look after your wellbeing.

“People genuinely want to know and want to help, but they don’t know how and if you’re not talking about it, they don’t want to ask. If you’re open, people really appreciate it.”
Greta Thomas
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ - Ribbon

Looking after yourself and support

It is important to look after yourself and ensure you are getting time to rest, relax and sleep. People in caring roles often find it helpful to speak to others, this can be family, friends, other carers through online forums or local face-to-face support groups and health professionals such as trained counsellors or your GP.

Ask for help! Support is available.

It is also important to find the right time to talk about how you are feeling with the person you are caring for. Being open and sharing how you are feeling can often ease the burden that you are carrying and your partner, family member or friend may welcome this openness. Talking about your concerns and feelings can make you feel more supported and it can also help you make decisions about what is important for you both.

“Some people are not understanding of why I’m not taking their advice, so I’ve had to be blunt and say ‘bugger off’.”
Bridget Gage
Breast Cancer Foundation NZ - Ribbon

Support available

Breast Cancer Foundation NZ can provide you with support at any time through this journey. We have some great books and resources which can be sent to you free of charge. We can also connect you to other people who are carers in similar situations. Talk to your breast care nurse or local Cancer Society about community groups available in your area.

We also have lots of advice about ABC, treatment and managing side effects. If you'd like to know more, you can contact our nursing team on 0800 226 8773 or via email: and they can help answer your questions.

Read more about:

Signs and symptoms

Tests and diagnosis


Managing physical symptoms and side effects

Managing emotional symptoms and side effects

Living with advanced breast cancer