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The purpose of this descriptive exploratory study was to describe the nature of stressors Icelandic women identify during the diagnostic phase of breast cancer, what sources of social support they draw upon, and their satisfaction with the social support they receive. Lazarus and Folkman's theory of stress, appraisal and coping was used as a theoretical framework for the study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 women in the diagnostic phase of breast cancer. Women experience the possibility of having cancer as an enormous threat. Social support was identified as a fundamental coping resource, where emotional support from husbands, family and close friends was of utmost importance. Health care professionals were not only the most important source of informational support but also a valuable source of emotional support.