Breast cancer patients' utilisation of supportive care has been understudied. In this paper, results from a population-based survey are used to assess the role of physicians and nurses in providing supportive care to women. Participants for this study were women with histologically confirmed invasive breast cancer diagnosed 23-36 months prior to contact about the study, who were randomly selected from the Ontario Cancer Registry. Patients for whom a physician approved contact were sent a survey questionnaire. There were two follow-up mailings. The survey included items related to patients' perceptions of supportive care involvement of oncologists, surgeons, family physicians and nurses. Among 1,119 eligible patients, 65% returned completed questionnaires. A total of 72% of these women reported having talked with an oncologist about one or more supportive care issues; 78% with a surgeon; 73% with a family physician; and 45% with a nurse. Factors linked to seeking supportive care from physicians and/or nurses included: younger age, working status, higher education, additional health insurance beyond that provided by government, higher household income, and receiving chemotherapy. Results indicate that physicians and nurses were providing important supportive care to most women with breast cancer. In a health care context where specialised supportive care services (e.g. help from dietitians, psychologists, social workers) are often unavailable or difficult to access, supportive care remains largely a responsibility of medical and nursing professionals. Even brief interventions may make an important difference to how patients deal with their illness over time.