After learning about breast cancer, its causes, diagnosis, treatment options, prevention and recurrence, this last part covers the very important topic of how to deal with mastectomy, life after cancer, and how to cope with cancer through support groups.
Coping With Cancer Treatment
The treatment options for breast cancer are rigorous and almost all of them have several side effects not to mention the constant stress accompanying this disease, making it even more challenging.
How should then one deal with all this? Here are some of the possible ways:
- Maintaining a positive demeanour, thinking good, happy thoughts and envisioning a cancer free future are some of the most effective therapies used by cancer patients the world over with fabulous results.
- Join a cancer support group, or online forum, to share your thoughts and feelings with others who have gone through the same. Having someone who listens to you can be of great help during these times. You can also ask questions on such forums to gain more information on comparing treatment options and preventing the chances of recurrence.
- Create a diary, or an online weblog, to keep a note of your feelings and dreams. How you think and feel about cancer will change, as time passes and it can be really useful to visit the diary sometimes in the future again.
- To combat weight gain or loss, loss of appetite and nausea, eat several small meals a day, avoid fatty, greasy foods, drink a lot of water, manage stress, and consider doing some light exercises, after consultation with the doctor.
- Fatigue and weakness can usually be kept in control through planning your work, prioritizing scheduled tasks, getting enough rest, delegating duties, eating a diet high in proteins and iron, controlling your breathing and performing certain selective aerobic activities.
- Hair loss can be very difficult emotionally and to tide over it, one may use scarves or decide to go for a well fitting wig.
Dealing with Mastectomy
Mastectomy affects women severely, lowering their self confidence and the desire to maintain a positive outlook. Hence it is very important to deal with it in a way that is constructive and restores confidence levels of the affected women.
Here are some tips:
- Discuss with the doctor if instead of a complete mastectomy, a partial one can be done. If not, is there are option of going in for skin sparing techniques in which the skin of the breast is preserved.
- The mastectomy is nowadays followed by a breast reconstructive surgery achieving excellent results without compromising on the appearance.
- Lymphedema (abnormal fluid buildup causing swelling) that may develop after breast surgery is usually treated immediately through antibiotics, proper skin care and bandaging.
- Using prostheses and mastectomy bras also makes it easier to deal with this invasive surgery.
Remember, life after breast cancer is all about making new choices while living life to the fullest.
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