–By Anne Krueger, Health.com

Whether your friend or family member is newly diagnosed or in the midst of treatment, she’s unlikely to be wowed by vague offers or having to do your thinking for you. She has enough on her mind; she has cancer. She may not want that tuna casserole or to hear about what treatment your Aunt Phyllis had either.

So how can you help? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s why we turned to survivors for our list of support dos and don’ts. Our patient-generated advice is sorted into three stages—Diagnosis, Surgery & Treatment, and Recovery—identified by Maureen Broderick, a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with cancer patients and run cancer support groups. Here’s what you need to know.

  1. Learn to listen
  2. Be my note taker and advocate
  3. Follow his or her breast cancer page
  4. Read my blog
  5. Give me phone numbers
  6. Be my email pen pal
  7. Keep it light
  8. Make a silly cake
  9. Distract me with little surprises
  10. Help me understand that I need help
  11. Leave a message after the tone
  12. Ask before bringing food
  13. I don’t want your tuna casserole, but you can buy my groceries
  14. Help make life normal for my kids
  15. Throw me a hair-cutting party
  16. Give me an open-ended invite
  17. Pamper me with attention
  18. Send me lots of cards
  19. Don’t expect me to be Miss Manners
  20. Don’t tell me how to feel
  21. Don’t forget me when ‘it’s over’
  22. Please join me in finding a cure

To read more, visit https://healthyliving.msn.com/diseases/breast-cancer/22-ways-to-help-a-friend-with-breast-cancer.