Losing the woman they love is the biggest fear for many partners in the immediate aftermath of a breast cancer diagnosis, according to Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), Australia’s leading consumer breast cancer organisation.
BCNA said while it is understood that women will experience a range of emotions after their own diagnosis, the feelings of their partner can be overlooked.
To help partners come to terms with what a breast cancer diagnosis means for them, their partner and their family, BCNA has produced a new booklet entitled ‘I wish I could fix it’: Supporting your partner through breast cancer.
The free booklet, which is aimed at partners of women diagnosed within the previous 12 months, includes information on breast cancer and its treatments, how partners can support the woman (or man) diagnosed, and practical tips to deal with some of the common challenges that they may face. The booklet also includes a list of information resources and counselling services available to partners.
Julie Hassard, National Programs Manager at BCNA, said it’s normal for partners to feel overwhelmed when the woman they love is diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Women often tell us they feel shock, fear and uncertainty when diagnosed with breast cancer. Research has shown that partners of women can experience similar feelings,” Julie said.
“While women often start to feel better after their treatment begins, partners’ anxiety levels may remain high as they feel they are unable to do anything to fix situation.
Our new booklet is designed to help partners come to terms with the diagnosis, and to provide information to help them cope.”
Ms Hassard said that often partners put aside their own feelings in order to focus on helping their partner through this difficult time.
“It is important that partners look after themselves as well and our free booklet provides information and advice from other partners about how to do this,” said Julie.
Women or partners can download a free copy of the booklet from BCNA’s website: www.bcna.org.au/store/products/i-wish-i-could-fix-it-supporting-your-partner-through-breast-cancer