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Parents: A Few Things to Know If Your Daughter Has Breast Cancer

It can be so hard to see our children suffer. Knowing how to support them is half the battle.


It breaks the heart of every loving parent to see their child ill. If you are the parent of a woman with breast cancer, no matter what her age, it’s no different: you wish you could changes places with her so she wouldn’t have to hurt. But you can’t. Fortunately, there are other ways that you can be supportive as a parent. In this section we share some things you should know about what your daughter is going through, and we also have some tips on how to talk to her. We promise not to suggest anything that will interfere with your need to nurture. We're parents, too.

10 Things To Know About Your Daughter

You have already taken a step in the right direction by looking for information on the internet. Here are some things you should know about your daughter.

1. Your daughter has breast cancer. Breast cancer is not, in any way known to current science, preventable. She contracted this disease through some physiological or environmental problem, that was not foreseeable to anyone.

2. Your daughter will be faced with decisions about her care. She will probably be facing mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery. There will be a time of healing after surgery during which she will need lots of care and attention.

3. Your daughter will likely need radiation, chemotherapy, or both. Radiation causes severe skin irritation, as well as many other symptoms. Chemotherapy has many, many side effects including hair loss and extreme fatigue. Sometimes symptoms of these side effects are delayed by days or weeks beyond the actual treatment. Read more about these treatments to help your daughter endure them.

4. Treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation are extremely effective in eliminating cancerous growth in the breast.

5. When breast cancer is confined to the breast at diagnosis, your daughter will have an almost 100% chance of living at least 5 years, and a very high life expectancy beyond that.

6. If cancer is found outside the breast, such as in the lymph nodes, surgeons will remove the lymph nodes to prevent further spreading of the disease. Even patients with cancer in the lymph nodes have high survival rates.

7. The restoration of self-confidence will be important after your daughter’s after breast surgery and treatment. It will be necessary to find products to replace missing breast tissue, and comfortable bras and swimwear to accommodate her new body.

8. Your daughter may lose her hair during treatment. There are postmastectomy boutiques which offer hats, turbans, wigs or other accessories to make her look and feel good about herself.

9. Your daughter may have become independent from you, and it may be difficult for her to ask for what she needs. She may need time, closeness, distance, money, transportation, child care, or anything else.

10. If your daughter has children, they will need your strength.