Being diagnosed with breast cancer can make a person feel powerless, often making individuals feel like they have lost control over their bodies and are at the mercy of their diagnosis and treatment plan. There are, however, a few things that may improve how they feel throughout the treatment process that could even help improve the effectiveness and symptoms of treatment. Below, we will discuss a few ways that people undergoing breast cancer treatments may find beneficial. Every treatment plan and every experience is singular, but we do hope that these methods help in coping with battling breast cancer.
Zwanger-Pesiri takes women’s medical imaging very seriously, and our compassionate team works hard to maintain a high level of comfort for every patient that walks through our doors. To learn which medical imaging center offers certain women’s imaging services, don’t hesitate to reach out today.
Engage in Physical Activity
Exercise is one of the best things for people undergoing cancer treatment, as it can help you function better during your breast cancer treatment. This doesn’t mean that you need to start running four miles a day or sign up for hot yoga either; even walking three to five times a week can make a huge difference in terms of energy, stamina, and how you feel during treatment. It can reduce your fatigue levels and improve your mood. Exercise may not be as realistic or easy for every woman with breast cancer, but it could be worthwhile if there are days during treatment cycles where women feel up to it.
Moving your body in ways that feel good is also preventative medicine as well. Several studies have found that physical activity can lower a woman’s risk for breast cancer, and some studies found that the most active women have a 25% lower chance of developing the disease than the least active women.
Yoga can be a great form of gentle, mindful exercise. While it won’t cure your cancer, it can help you feel better, as it reduces your blood pressure and heart rate, which can reduce your stress levels and make you feel more relaxed. There is evidence that yoga may help the side effects of cancer. Doing yoga even twice a week can improve levels of fatigue that often accompanycancer treatments. Up to 80% of women with breast cancer in North America use complementary or integrative therapies, and one of the most studied is yoga.
Yoga may also help people recover after cancer treatment. A study from researchers at Ohio State University looked at 200 breast cancer survivors who had completed treatment in the last three years and were either assigned to 12 weeks of yoga classes or no yoga. The women who practiced yoga had lower fatigue and markers of inflammation than women who did not do yoga. Its benefits also include lowering a person’s risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, and hypertension.
Try Compression Garments
One of the side effects of breast cancer treatment involves swelling of the soft tissues of the arm, hand, or chest wall. While this swelling isn’t life-threatening, it should be treated to avoid getting worse. A compression garment is a tight-fitting sock or sleeve that can help reduce swelling. The swelling may be accompanied by numbness, discomfort, and infection. There is no reliable way to access your risk of lymphedema; taking proper precautions can greatly reduce your chances of developing the condition.
Your oncologist may recommend a number of strategies for relieving the discomfort, including elevating the affected body part of doing simple stretching exercises.
Sleep is a critical part of good health, and is important for everyone to prioritize, regardless of whether you are battling disease or not. Accumulating research suggests that the amount of sleep a woman gets is linked to better survival from breast cancer. A study done in 2016 highlighted that women who slept less than five hours a night on average before they were diagnosed with breast cancer were nearly 1.5 times more likely to die from their breast cancer than women who reported sleeping seven to eight hours.
These are only a few ways in which you may be able to improve your cancer treatment; there are more than you may want to research for your own benefit! Things like meditation, finding a good support group, and journalism may be effective in dealing with the psychological impacts of breast cancer.
To learn more about how our medical imaging center approaches women’s health and diagnosis, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We proudly provide 3D mammography, breast biopsy, breast MRI, and breast ultrasound. We take great care in ensuring that every patient that walks through our doors feels welcomed, safe, and valued. Schedule an appointment with us today.
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