Women are known to be masters at multitasking. Demanding work schedules, household responsibilities, and raising kids often results in women neglecting their own health. Breast Cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers amongst women, the average 5-year survival rate for non-metastatic breast cancer is 90 percent. As per Dr. Nanda Rajneesh, General and Laparoscopic Surgeon Apollo Spectra Hospital, Bangalore, the attention to self-health and being aware of any changes in the body is the key to early diagnosis and effective treatment. Living with breast cancer is exhausting for the patients, both physically and mentally.
Chemotherapy is often the first step in treatment combined with surgery depending on the stage to which the cancer has developed and progressed. Chemotherapy alone comes with its own challenges like extreme fatigue, hair loss along hormonal changes. Being diagnosed with breast cancer can make patients panic as the disease is known to be fatal in some cases. But an early-stage breast cancer patient can take a few steps to manage the disease and recover from it and a few of them are as follows.
Once diagnosed with breast cancer, a patient will need to adapt a number of lifestyle changes like following a healthy sleep routine, a healthy diet as referred by the doctors along with meditation and yoga to calm the mind. All of these steps will add to a faster recovery and help the body in fighting cancer.
Accept the changes in your body
The side effects of Chemotherapy can make the body undergo a number of changes and in some cases, the patients need a mastectomy - surgical removal of the breast tissue. Accept what your body is going through, learn to love your body, and work towards leading a new and improved life. Join a cancer support group to talk about your feelings and challenges.
Create a pain chart recording the variations in the level of pain each day and at different times. Consult the doctor for any extreme pain that persists for long along with any unusual symptoms. This will play a crucial role in determining the right course of treatment and will result in a faster recovery
Discuss your fertility options
Have a discussion with your doctors about your plans to have children and understand the options that are available. Treatment involving chemotherapy can have adverse effects on a woman’s fertility. Consult with the doctors who will chalk out a plan and explore the options open to you.
Understand the next steps
While undergoing the treatment, a patient should start exploring the future course of action or step. Some patients may opt for breast removal surgery to mitigate the future risk of recurrent cancer. There are also options like breast reconstruction surgeries to help patients regain confidence as per their choice.
Living with Breast Cancer is overwhelming and the best way to deal with it is to talk to people around you. It is very important to understand that your body has undergone significant changes and it will need a holistic approach to revamp and lead a normal life. You might need to tweak your work schedules, life habits, and thought processes as per your body requirements. The key to living a healthy life as a breast cancer survivor is to accept and adjust to the changes physically and emotionally.
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