Living With Breast Cancer
4 AnswersKalli Castille, MS, RD, CSO, LD , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)Yes! Here are a few tips to get you started: 1. Strive for more plant based proteins such as nuts, seeds, and legumes. 2. Try ground flax seed, there is new research supporting the benefits to breast cancer patients. 3. Eat a diet rich in Vitamin D foods; and 4. Exercise regularly according to your health care teams recommendations.
1 AnswerDr. Vincent T DeVita Jr , Oncology, answeredConcerns 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.
1 AnswerMind-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
1 AnswerTo 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.
4 AnswersDr. Robert A. Wascher, MD , Surgery, answered on behalf of Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA)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"
2 AnswersAmy Jamieson-Petonic , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsAbsolutely! There is extensive research on the role of nutrition and breast cancer. The foods that you eat will have a significant impact on the disease. A registered dietitian in your area can help you do this. Find an RD at www.eatright.org
1 AnswerDr. Vincent T DeVita Jr , Oncology, answeredWomen 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.
1 AnswerDr. Robin Miller, MD , Internal Medicine, answered
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.
2 AnswersDr. Stuart A. Linder, MD , Plastic Surgery, answered
After your breast cancer surgery you will either be wrapped with a bias surgical dressing or placed immediately into a compression brassiere. In my practice, our breast surgery patients are always wrapped with 8-inch bias wrap dressings, gauze sponges, and steri-strips to the incisions. On the first post-operative day, the dressings are removed and a Dr. Linderbra is placed that allows both compression and comfort to the patient.