During Treatment

Breast cancer support groups – in person and online

Posted by Sara Liyanage on 10 February 2023

four people holding hands together

The whirlwind of a breast cancer diagnosis can leave you breathless. And it can leave you feeling alone and scared. But you are not alone. Far from it in fact. There is an amazing support community out there waiting for you. Your tribe is out there waiting for you to get in touch and in this article we explore the support groups available to you.

Some people diagnosed with breast cancer retreat into themselves and can’t bear the idea of reading about other’s cancer journeys, let alone talking to anyone else who has breast cancer. Whilst for others the first thing they want to do with their diagnosis is go out and find someone else in the same position and share share share. Most of us fall in the middle of this spectrum, perhaps veering towards one end or the other. But wherever you stand between these two poles, there is an outlet for you.

There are forums, support groups and chat groups where anyone with any type of breast cancer diagnosis is welcome. There are some for certain age groups, there are some for certain types of breast cancer, there are some for certain ethnic backgrounds, some for men, some for certain age groups and somewhere everyone is welcome. There really is something for everyone.


Some advice – based on our experience as patients – if you plan on visiting some of these online forums or support groups:

1. Don’t compare your diagnosis with anyone else’s diagnosis because we are all different.

2. Don’t compare your treatment regime with anyone else’s regime because these are tailored to our individual situations and our regimes will be different, even if it seems that we have the same diagnosis.

3. The way in which other people react to chemo drugs may be different to how you react to the same drugs.

4. Everyone reacts differently to their diagnosis and treatment. As times goes on and we move along the cancer path some of us adjust to life on this path, whilst many of us find it a continual struggle. It is therefore perfectly normal for someone to express their despair on one of the forums or online chat rooms, or even at a support group. Despair can come across in many forms: sadness, anger, fear, complaints, tears. So when faced with anger or moaning or grumbling (online or in person) if you are feeling strong enough then perhaps consider giving love and support.

5. Someone always has breast cancer “horror story” to tell: but you don’t need to listen to it.

6. Do NOT take medical advice from people in these groups – always talk to your medical team about your concerns.

Support Groups

There are loads of local support groups that you can get involved with.

1. Here at Future Dreams we have a huge range of in person support groups for people who can get to our House in London. More information can be found here.

2. Ask your hospital if they have a support group service.

3. Ask your breast care nurse for recommendations.

4. Find out about local breast care charities because they often hold coffee mornings or host support groups.

5. Find out about local hospices because they also have coffee mornings, support groups, drop-ins for breast cancer patients. Don’t be put off by the word ‘hospice’. My local hospice is a god-send for breast cancer patients and they are all about helping people who are living with cancer.

6. Breast Cancer Now put on free talks, courses and monthly meet-ups across the UK. You can check their site for one near you. An example is their Younger Women Together group.

7. Macmillan can help you find a support group near you.

8. There are a number of Maggies Centres around the UK which provide support and advice for all types of cancer.

9. There are also a number of other national cancer support organisations dotted around the country (for example, Trekstock and Shine Cancer Support). Take a look at their websites to see if they have a centre near you.

Online groups

If you don’t fancy meeting up with people in person, you might prefer to join one of the online forums. There are plenty of these. The best thing to do is make yourself a cuppa, get comfy and spend a few hours exploring the discussions going on. Here are a few:

1. Here at Future Dreams we have a huge range of online workshops and groups. More information can be found here.

2. Breast Cancer Now have lots of categories like “Going through treatment” and “Genes and breast cancer”. Within each category are a number of different boards which are the sub-categories. And then within each sub-category are ‘threads’ which are the conversations.

3. Macmillan. This isn’t organised quite as well as the Breast Cancer Now forum and it is more difficult to browse around. It is more helpful if you know the topic you are looking for discussions about so you can search for that topic.

Facebook groups

There are a number of breast cancer support groups on Facebook which are closed groups and you need to apply to be given membership to the group. Don’t be put off by this; it is just to protect everyone’s privacy and ensure that all members are genuine breast cancer patients. These are absolutely great for getting advice from others in your position, and getting support from a community of other ladies who know exactly what your are going through. There are Facebook groups dedicated to people in certain situations such as those with lobular breast cancer, secondary breast cancer, who carry the BRCA gene and more. Some of our suggestions are:

1. The Younger Breast Cancer Network. Joining criteria is that you are under 45 and live in the UK. This is a fantastic group. It puts you in touch with other women going through breast cancer treatment providing a lovely space for everyone to message their worries, concerns and generally supporting each other. There are sub groups for geographical areas, moving on after treatment, secondary breast cancer and different types of breast cancer. The network also has some super useful information sheets about breast cancer.

2. Live Better With: Coping with Cancer Side Effects – a great group for anyone with any type of cancer. A place to go with queries, questions, concerns and where you can get advice, encouragement and support.

3. BRiC Centre – Building Resilience in Breast Cancer Centre – they have a support group on Facebook for women going through all stages of breast cancer. They provide all sorts of up to date information about treatment, articles and blogs. They also hold regular discussion groups.

X (formerly Twitter)

Twitter is also an excellent resource for you if you wish to get in touch with others in your position. There are many breast cancer survivors, those going through treatment for primary breast cancer and those with secondary breast cancer who you can follow.


There is a big breast cancer community on Instagram – it is amazing to see the number of wonderful, inspiring people who are going through breast cancer or have recently been through it, sharing their stories on Instagram. And everyone is always up for a chat, providing support and encouragement and generally being there.

If you’re planning on going on social media, you might want to read Sara’s advice for using social media as a cancer patient, in this article. And as a general piece of advice, it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of scrolling through social media which – when related to cancer – can be triggering and upsetting and yet it’s hard to stop, so set yourself a timer on your phone and when that timer goes off – stop scrolling!

Further information

To return to the homepage of our Information Hub, click here where you can access helpful information, practical advice, personal stories and more.

Reviewed February 2023

The information and content provided on this page has been written from a patient’s perspective then reviewed by a breast care nurse and it is intended for information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your medical team for advice on anything covered in this article and/or in relation to your personal situation. The links and/or recommendations in this article to third-party resources are for your information and we take no responsibility for the content contained in those third-party resources.


Sylvie Henry and Danielle Leslie founders of Future Dreams breast cancer support
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Sylvie and Danielle began Future Dreams with just £100 in 2008. They believed nobody should face breast cancer alone.  Their legacy lives on in Future Dreams House.  We couldn’t continue to fund support services for those touched by breast cancer, raise awareness of breast cancer and promote early diagnosis and advance research into secondary breast cancer without your help. Please consider partnering with us or making a donation.

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