BACKGROUND: Cross-cultural studies of comparable patients can identify differences of health care services and point to issues of possible improvement. In this cross-sectional study we compared self-reported received and needed social support at the workplace of disease-free breast cancer survivors (BCSs) stage I from Norway and Finland. METHODS: Age-matched samples of 135 BCSs from Norway and 148 from Finland were examined using a questionnaire including socio-demographic factors, employment data, measurements of social support at work from supervisors, colleagues and the occupational health service (OHS), and several other measurements. RESULTS: Finnish BCSs had significantly higher education and a higher rate of full-time employment than Norwegian ones. With adjustment for education and work time, Finnish compared to Norwegian BCSs reported significantly less received social support from supervisors, while they received significantly more social support from OHS. No differences were observed in received support from colleagues between Finnish and Norwegian BCSs. Somatic health was most strongly associated with received and needed support from supervisors, colleagues and OHS. CONCLUSIONS: The differences in received and needed social support at work observed between Norwegian and Finnish BCSs treated for stage I disease challenge strengthening of OHS for Norwegian BCSs and increased attention by supervisors in Finnish BCSs.