The purpose of this study was to analyze the opportunities and willingness of women to take care of themselves after an operation for breast cancer. The expectations and experiences which women had about their clinical supervision and support during their care were studied. The sample group consisted of one-sixth of the approximately 600 women in southwestern Finland who had developed breast cancer in the previous 3 years. A questionnaire was sent to the subjects. Statistical analysis of the data was based on percentage distributions with correlations, cross-tabulation and loglinear models. The patients reported that they were willing to take part in their own care but that, unfortunately, at all levels they received insufficient professional support and information. We concluded that our health care system insufficiently supports patients' recovery.