Living With Breast Cancer

Living With Breast Cancer

Living With Breast Cancer
If you're going through treatment or know someone battling breast cancer, there are resources available to help. For male and female breast cancer patients, it can be a challenge on a daily basis, as there's not only physical pain to deal with, but also feelings of anxiety or fear. Groups for breast cancer patients, friends and family can help provide psychological and spiritual support. A person's sex life also changes during breast cancer treatment -- but it's worth exploring options to help maintain your self-esteem and keep stress low. On a daily basis, regular exercise and a healthy diet can have a positive influence on breast cancer treatment. Learn more about living with breast cancer with expert advice from Sharecare.

Recently Answered

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    A , Oncology, answered
    Women who have had treatment for breast cancer should be reassured that while they may be left with reminders of their treatment (such as surgical scars), their overall quality of life, once treatment has been completed, can be normal. Extensive studies have shown this.
    Some studies suggest that younger women, who represent about 1 out of 4 breast cancer survivors, tend to have more problems adjusting to the stresses of breast cancer and its treatment. They may have more trouble with emotional and social functioning. Some can feel isolated. For some women, chemotherapy may have caused early menopause, which can be very distressing on its own. There may also be sexual difficulties. These issues may be helped with counseling and support groups directed to younger breast cancer survivors.
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    Mind-body medicine programs help you cope with the emotional and psychological stresses of breast cancer. Mind-body medicine explores the influence of your mind and emotions on your body and immune system, and vice versa.

    Your mind-body therapist will provide an assessment and then work with you to integrate any of the following therapies into your breast cancer treatment plan:
    • Individual and relationship counseling sessions
    • Cancer support groups
    • Relaxation and guided imagery training
    • Stress management
    • Laughter therapy
    • Reiki therapy
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    What Bra Should I Wear After Breast Cancer Surgery?
    Post-surgical bras are mostly based on the patient's comfort, says Virginia Chiantella, MD, from StoneSprings Hospital Center. Learn more in this video.
    See All 6 Answers
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    A Oncology Nursing, answered on behalf of
    To maintain good posture after breast surgery:
    • Stand/sit upright -- don't slouch!
    • Keep your head aligned with your shoulders.
    • Keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
    • Keep your arms relaxed at your side.
    • When standing or sitting, position your affected arm naturally at your side. Do not hold it against your body.
    • When walking, swing your affected arm naturally.
    • When in bed, keep your affected arm slightly away from your body and elevated above the heart by positioning it on pillows by your side. This will assist to decrease any swelling that may be present.
    • Stand upright when washing dishes or performing self-care activities at the sink.
    • When working on the computer, your arms should rest by your side with elbows bent at a right angle.
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    There are many tumor-related factors that play a role in the behavior of breast cancer (and all cancers, for that matter), and in the response of breast cancer to various available treatments. However, some of these factors appear to be of much greater importance than others.
    Clinically important tumor-related factors include the size of the tumor in the breast, whether or not the breast cancer cells are sensitive (or resistant) to the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone, the grade of the tumor (i.e., how "aggressive" the tumor looks under the microscope), and whether or not there are extra copies of a gene known as HER-2/neu.  Also, the margin of normal breast tissue that is present on the surface of the tumor, following surgical removal of the tumor, is an important factor in terms of the risk of recurrence of cancer within the same breast.
    There are other important staging factors that are also used to try and estimate the risk of cancer recurrence, and to determine the best possible treatment for each patient’s breast cancer. One of the most important of these factors is whether or not breast cancer cells have already spread to the armpit (axillary) lymph nodes, or to other organs outside of the breast.
    Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS
    Author, "A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race"
    http://doctorwascher.com
     
     
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    A , Oncology, answered
    Concerns about sexuality are often very worrisome to a woman with breast cancer. Several factors may place a woman at higher risk for sexual problems after breast cancer. Physical changes (such as those after surgery) may make a woman less comfortable with her body. The most common sexual side effects stem from damage to a woman's feelings of attractiveness.
    The breasts and nipples are also sources of sexual pleasure for many women. Treatment for breast cancer can interfere with pleasure from breast caressing.
    Some treatments for breast cancer, such as chemotherapy and hormone therapy, can change a woman's hormone levels and may affect her sexual interest and/or response.
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Should women who have been diagnosed and treated for breast cancer avoid high fat milk products?

    Hormones from cows are concentrated in the fat. The increase in hormone levels is not good for women who have been diagnosed and treated with breast cancer, says Robin Miller, MD. Watch as she explains why it's better to choose low-fat milk products.


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    A answered

    Breast cancer recovery can begin a couple of days after surgery. It starts with gentle exercises for the first six weeks. These exercises will relieve some of the pain and prevent scar tissue from forming. All exercises should focus on breathing because this will help to relieve some pain. After six weeks, the exercises should begin to focus on building strength. Strength building will help you improve your range of motion. Your doctor or surgeon should approve all exercises before you begin.

    To keep your arm and shoulder from getting stiff, try to exercise twice per day. Slowly begin to reintroduce daily activities such as yard work, laundry, or driving when you feel your body is capable. If you experience any pain, immediately stop the activity.

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    A , Women's Health, answered
    Keep a notebook or journal. As you think of questions, write them down. This eliminates the stress caused by you trying to remember too many things. Use part of the notebook to keep track of dates and types of tests and treatments. Use part of the notebook to track lab results. Keep the names, addresses, and contact phone numbers of anyone involved in your care in the notebook. Bring the notebook with you to all of your appointments.
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    A Surgical Oncology, answered on behalf of
    A woman with breast cancer needs not only cancer treatment but frequently also a lot of supportive care. It depends on where she is in her life at the time of the breast cancer diagnosis. The need for supportive care can be different from person to person. For example, a young woman with breast cancer before she completes her family may need to see a fertility expert before receiving any cancer drug. Similarly, a pregnant woman may need to see an obstetrician who specializes in high-risk pregnancy. Women with an excessive family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or other types of cancer should see a genetic counselor before choosing the type of breast cancer surgery. Many, if not all, women with breast cancer can benefit from some form of psychosocial supportive activity, and physical therapy frequently is very helpful for women after breast cancer surgery.