While undergoing treatment for breast cancer, it is important that you maintain follow your treatment plan, try to maintain a healthy weight, exercise, minimize alcoholic drinking and smoking. Also, work closely with your healthcare team. Visit our “My Lifestyle Toolkit” to learn more about treatment, wellness, survivorship and other resources that will support you during and after breast cancer.
While you’re in treatment, you can develop a personalized follow-up care plan with your doctor for the coming months and years. It is important that you keep your regular doctor’s appointment so that you will have continuous care with a professional team of health providers. Keep track of how you feel physically and emotionally and be sure to voice your concerns to your medical team about your future physical or emotional health.
Managing side effects from treatment
As part of your follow-up care, make sure to share with your doctor how you feel. Do you get headaches frequently? Do you feel sore? Are you experiencing chemobrain? Your doctor may suggest that you add a particular item to your diet to reduce the nausea. Overall, depending on your response to the treatment, the doctor may switch you to another type of treatment for better results, or prescribe something to help ease the side effects.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle
In general, a better health outcome is connected with a healthy lifestyle – exercise, a good, balanced diet, and perhaps an element of spirituality or mindfulness. This could include praying and/or yoga. Focus on eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Also limit alcohol consumption and smoking.
Managing your daily schedule
Breast cancer treatment may be accompanied by nausea, and some feelings of exhaustion. Be open to help from family, friends and colleagues. Having someone at your side and you go through this process will help to encourage you and keep you positive.
Dealing with anxiety about cancer recurrence
Most cancer patients feel worried or anxious that the cancer may come back. This is a natural reaction. Speak with your doctor about the possibility of the cancer returning. As you take note of your body – especially any changes, let you doctor know if you notice: lump, rash, constant pain, long-lasting headaches, chronic coughing, changes in energy levels, loss of appetite/weight loss.