Breast cancer is a common phenomenon, and most women worldwide live with the nightmarish thought of getting afflicted with this chronic disease. The month of October is observed as the National Breast cancer Awareness month.
Most cancer research centers are working hard toward preventing and curing breast cancer. They are providing tip sheets based on research on the various aspects of breast cancer. They are also formulating programs to create awareness about breast cancer prevention.
Most of their endeavor is intended to screen and detect breast cancer and offer the necessary treatment before it is too late. Scientists and healthcare professionals are etching out plans for the patient’s survivorship and paving the way for health and wellness in the times to come.
That’s why we have some essential tips for breast cancer patients. These tips will augur well for the well-being of the patients during the treatment.
Gather Specifics For Treatment And Diagnosis
Every patient wants to maximize their time with the doctors and health care professionals. They bring a lot of questions to the table after jotting them down during the appointments. Most patients ask for test result copies and gather specifics regarding their treatment and diagnosis.
So, the patients must maintain a list of all the questions that can arise during the visit. They must not also forget to note down all the answers provided by the doctors. It is also essential to make informed decisions and learn about the treatment and diagnosis as much as possible.
Take Time To Choose The Best Doctor
It is crucial to choose the best doctors for breast cancer. Specialist doctors for breast cancer provide dedicated services in cancer centers. These doctors offer valuable expertise. The patients access all the latest treatments available, including specialty services like nutrition, physical therapy, and social work.
Acquire Requisite Support To Talk About Diagnosis
It is tough to come to terms with knowing that you have breast cancer. Furthermore, once the news is conveyed to the family members and friends, it is no less difficult for the patient. Patients often feel that they are making others upset and apprehensive about their first reaction.
It is challenging to communicate the news to others by coming out in the open. Moreover, one might also find it hard to seek help from others and answer others’ queries. It is tough even to tell all your friends and relatives you are looking for more space and time and be with yourself to deal with the sudden shock.
It is always safer to have an appointment with a social worker and discuss all options to fetch necessary resource referrals and emotional support during such trying times. This is the time, and it is best to contact local support groups that help women suffering from breast cancer. Breast cancer patients can also ask for considerable help from clinics and hospitals to help them identify the best resources in that specific area.
If Necessary, Ask To Steer Clear Of Financial Issues
Every clinic and hospital must have a patient navigator, social worker, and a department for financial services. These departments are helpful enough and help the patients manage everything related to financial issues. They also help to deal with all the private insurance companies. So, to tackle such financial issues during the treatment, one can ask for help and begin the procedure by scheduling an appointment.
Contact The Best Doctor To Deal With Menopause Symptoms
Breast cancer patients will experience menopause symptoms under certain conditions, and they are as follows:
- Gone through ovary removal.
- Discontinue therapy concerning hormonal replacement post-diagnosis.
- Under such circumstances, it is always better to consult a doctor and discuss the procedure to minimize the symptoms of menopause safely.
Good Nutrition Is Vital
The ability to taste and smell often influences cancer treatment, altering the digestion process. Food does not taste good while treatment is going on. On the contrary, those less appealing foods might test better, and cancer patients live with this paradox. Cooked vegetables will satiate the test buds more than the raw ones, and a bowl of soup and vegetable stew is more satisfying than salads.
A smaller quantity of food at frequent intervals will boost energy levels and minimize the effects of nausea instead of having three meals every day. Gaining weight is quite common if you overindulge, eventually shooting up the calorie budget.
Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and seeds. Colorful foods blueberries, spinach, and onions will provide enough variety and fill the platter with anti-cancer nutrients.
At the same time, avoid alcohol while taking cancer treatment. If you feel the urge to have a drink or two after treatment, limit your intake to only three drinks a week. Recent research notes that breast cancer increases by high alcohol intake.
Take Adequate Steps To Check Lymphedema
Often breast cancer patients have to deal with lymphedema, a side effect of this cancer type. It causes the soft tissues on the hand, arm, and chest wall to swell. Lymphedema will not threaten your life, but treatment is necessary to avert any dangerous situation.
The swelling caused by lymphedema leads to severe discomfort and numbness, and infection. It is difficult to assess the risk of the swelling caused by lymphedema, and taking proper precautions helps minimize its risk of developing further.
The symptoms of lymphedema have to be nipped in the bud by consulting your doctor and physical therapists to check its development and prevent it from spreading.
Opt For Regular Exercise
An exercise regime is essential for breast cancer patients. Gentle exercises like regular walks stave off the physical and mental effects unleashed by the treatment. The amount of exercise should be increased gradually once the treatment is complete. This will minimize the fatigue borne out of the treatment and help rebuild the overall muscle tone.
A mental fogginess can shroud the mind during chemotherapy, and it also has its after-effects. Improved circulation may help with chemo brain, and it will definitely boost the overall mood and change the outlook towards life completely.
Other physical activities like tai chi, yoga, water aerobics, or simply swimming for half an hour a day will undoubtedly make you feel better. However, if you find exercising problematic during the treatment, you can always consult a physical therapist referred by your medical provider.
Fetch Necessary Information On Overall Bone Health
Bones are an integral part of your body, and keeping them healthy is of paramount importance. Bone loss is a common symptom for breast cancer patients, and one must not overlook this aspect. Moreover, osteoporosis is quite common among most people after the age of 50, and women have double the risk of getting affected by it compared to men.
Health care professionals are the best person to offer recommendations on maintaining your bones healthy. Bones are made stronger by popping pills of Vitamin D and calcium. Furthermore, one can also do proper weight-bearing exercises for stronger bones.
Balance Work And Treatment
Cancer treatment takes a toll on most people, and it is hard to work during that period. Some people still manage to work during the treatment phase without much fuss. However, sometimes it becomes imperative to take the necessary break and minimize the work capacity as much as possible.
Taking time off for the treatment and then returning once the treatment is over will boost the self-esteem and maintain the identity. The flow of income is not hampered in the process. You can also seek help from your employer to avail of options like job sharing, flextime, and work from their home.
These are valuable options that will ease the body and mind and rejuvenate them to come back and meet the necessary demands of the job. Patience and taking enough care of your health will make it easy to get back to everyday life.
On a Final Note
Breast cancer requires special care, and health care professionals all across the globe, along with oncologists, are trying hard to ensure that the patients get the best treatment. They burn their midnight oils to help the patients during such trying times.
So, if you are detected with breast cancer, do not think that this is the end of the world. Following specific tips during the treatment will make you hale and hearty for the rest of your life.