How to Support Men with Breast Cancer

Each October, we see an explosion of pink in observance of breast cancer awareness. While breast cancer is 100 times less common in men, the risk of a male having breast cancer is still more than you might think, 1 in 1,000 in fact.

Whether a man has been diagnosed with breast cancer or is supporting a wife, mother, or sister with it, the disease can take a toll on him—physically and emotionally. What can you do to support the man in your life who has been diagnosed with breast cancer or is supporting a female going through it?

Within the wider community of well-being, we can do two things to support men going through these scenarios:

  1. Don’t isolate or ignore men who have received a diagnosis. If a man within your social circle has been diagnosed with breast cancer, think of ways you can support and show your concern, and how you might tailor that to a male. When in doubt, deliver his favorite food or drink, offer to spend time helping out with household projects or join him in watching the big game.
  2. For men taking care of a female, don’t always focus the conversation around that piece of his life. It’s fine to politely ask for updates on her treatment process, but don’t forget to ask how he is doing as well. Giving him space to express his worries or frustrations and let down his “superman” persona tells him that he is seen as an individual and has people rooting for him.

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