This site is intended for patients in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) who have been prescribed PIQRAY®▼ (alpelisib) + fulvestrant.

It looks like you are using an older version of Internet Explorer which is not supported. We advise that you update your browser to the latest version of Microsoft Edge, or consider using other browsers such as Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

Living well with advanced breast cancer (aBC)

If you’ve been diagnosed with aBC, caring for yourself means more than just attending your appointments and taking your treatment as prescribed. Carefully tending to your emotional, mental and social wellbeing can help you to live well as you undergo medical treatment.

Managing your emotions

Dealing with anxiety, worry and fear

It is common to feel anxious, worried or afraid when you are unsure about the future. You may feel nervous about your next doctor’s visit or medical test. You may even worry about your treatment and how well it is working.1

If you feel your anxiety is getting worse, it is important to speak to your healthcare team about it.2 You can also try the following tips for calming anxiety, and any related physical symptoms.

Processing sadness

It is natural to feel sad when you’re living with aBC.5

If you feel sad for a prolonged amount of time, talk to your doctor about it. Your healthcare team is here to help.

Coping with frustration and anger

Feelings of frustration and anger, towards both yourself and other people, are common among people with aBC.6 They can manifest in physical ways, such as tightness in your chest, a racing heart or tension in your muscles, or cause you to lash out at others.7,8

You can learn to manage these emotions with clear communication, distraction and muscle relaxations exercises. Try a breathing or relaxation exercise to help you.

Letting go of your thoughts and feelings

Having an outlet like writing letters, journalling, and speaking to others is a helpful way in which to process your thoughts and feelings, make sense of things and feel less alone.

Many people also find it helpful to talk with a professional counsellor or psychologist. If that is something you’d like to try, ask your doctor for a referral.

Finding meaning

Along with the challenges and difficulties that living with aBC brings, research shows that many people are able to find benefit and meaning in their experience of cancer.9–11 Connecting with positive parts of your journey can provide some relief from the daily challenges of living with cancer. Some of the benefits are:

  • Enhanced personal strength10,11
  • Spiritual growth10,11
  • Greater appreciation of life9–11
  • More compassion for others11
  • Improved relationships9–11

If you want to explore benefit and meaning more, you may want to think about these questions:

finding meaning infographic

You can also find out how other people have turned their diagnosis into a positive experience by visiting websites for Breast Cancer Now, and Macmillan Cancer Support, or speak to your healthcare team for more information on support groups.

Looking after yourself

There are simple things you can do each day to help you live better with aBC. After all, small things can make a big difference. For more information download the 5 steps to maintaining a healthy lifestyle here >

Look after yourself infographic

Be comfortable with your body

Living with advanced breast cancer may have changed the way you think and feel about your body, but it is important to remember that any negative thoughts you may have about your body might not be true. Our partners, family and friends and those around us are generally more accepting of our bodies than we are. Here are some tips to help improve how you feel about your body:

Be comfortable infographic

Breathing and relaxation exercises4

Try this simple breathing exercise

breathing icon 1

Step 1

Find a comfortable position,4 such as lying on your back either in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head. You may choose to sit in a chair with your shoulders, head and neck supported

breathing icon 2

Step 2

Take a deep breath through your nose. Let your belly fill with air

breathing icon3

Step 3

Slowly release the air through your nose

breathing icon 4

Step 4

Place one hand on your stomach; the other on your chest4

breathing icon 5

Step 5

As you inhale, feel your stomach rise. As you exhale, feel it sink. The hand on your stomach should move more than the hand on your chest4

breathing icon 6

Step 6

Repeat this 3 more times, inhaling deeply each time. Feel your belly rise and fall with each breath

Try this simple relaxation technique4

relax icon 1

Step 1

Get in a comfortable position. You can sit up or lie down.4 If you’re lying down, you may want to put a small pillow under your neck and knees

relax icon 2

Step 2

Close your eyes4

relax icon 3

Step 3

Breathe deeply and slowly. Concentrate on raising your belly with each breath in4

relax icon 4

Step 4

Breathe in and squeeze the muscles in one specific part of the body, for example, your left hand, or your arm – for a few seconds4

relax icon 5

Step 5

Breathe out and relax the body part you were squeezing. You should feel the muscles become loose and limp, as the tension flows out4

relax icon 6

Step 6

Notice the differences you feel between the muscles when they are relaxed

relax icon 7

Step 7

Continue squeezing and relaxing all your muscles.4 It may help to start from the top of your body and work your way down – your face, your shoulders, your arms and so on

relax icon 8

Step 8

When you are done, focus on the pleasant feeling of relaxation for as long as you can4

Resource banner image, woman on sofa

Browse through a range of helpful materials ranging from information about your diagnosis, Piqray treatment and living well with aBC

Where would you like to go next?


aBC, advanced breast cancer.


  1. National Cancer Institute. Facing forward: life after cancer treatment. Available at [Accessed January 2022].
  2. Macmillan Cancer Support. Anxiety. Available at:     [Accessed January 2022].
  3. Lengacher CA et al. Psychooncology. 2009;18(12):1261–1272.
  4. Springboard Beyond Cancer. Anxiety. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].
  5. Depression and metastatic breast cancer. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].
  6. Cancer Research UK. Coping with sadness. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].
  7. American Society of Clinical Oncology. Coping with anger. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].
  8. Mills H. Anger management relaxation techniques. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].
  9. Moreno PI, Stanton AL. Cancer J. 2013;19(5):421–30.
  10. Cordova MJ et al. J Clin Psychol Med Settings. 2007;14:308-319.
  11. Tanyi Z et al. Psychiatr Danub. 2020;32(Suppl 4):401–411.
  12. American Cancer Society. Sleep problems. Available at: [Accessed January 2022].
  13. MD Anderson Cooper Center. Coping with appearance changes. Available at: [Accessed January 2022]

▼This medicine is subject to additional monitoring. This will allow quick identification of new safety information. You can help by reporting any side effects you may get. See for how to report side effects.

UK | January 2022 | 147263