Worry About Recurrence is Normal, But You Can Take Steps to Help Yourself
Breast cancer is a prevalent and life-altering disease that affects millions of women worldwide. While surviving breast cancer is a significant achievement, the fear of recurrence often lingers. Fortunately, there are proactive measures that women can take to reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence and live a healthier, happier life. In this article, we will explore some of the best approaches for women to avoid a recurrence of breast cancer.
1. Adhere to Follow-up Care
Regular follow-up care is crucial for breast cancer survivors. It typically includes physical examinations, mammograms, and other medical tests recommended by healthcare professionals. Adhering to these appointments allows for early detection of any changes or potential signs of recurrence, ensuring prompt intervention and treatment.
2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly impact breast cancer recurrence risk. Focus on:
a) Balanced Diet: A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats provides essential nutrients and antioxidants. Minimize processed foods, sugary snacks, and excessive alcohol consumption, as these can increase the risk of cancer recurrence.
b) Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, helps maintain a healthy weight and reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
c) Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity and being overweight are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. Maintain a healthy weight through a combination of regular exercise and a balanced diet.
3. Manage Stress
Stress can weaken the immune system and contribute to overall health problems. Breast cancer survivors should prioritize stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or engaging in activities they enjoy. Seeking support from family, friends, or support groups can also provide emotional relief.
4. Limit Exposure to Hormone Replacement Therapy
For women who are postmenopausal and considering hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to alleviate symptoms, it is essential to consult with their healthcare provider regarding the potential risks. Estrogen-progesterone HRT has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer recurrence. Explore alternative therapies or non-hormonal options when possible.
5. Breast Self-Examinations and Awareness
Breast self-examinations are an integral part of breast health. Women should be familiar with their breasts' normal appearance and report any changes or abnormalities to their healthcare provider promptly. Regular breast self-examinations can help detect any potential signs of recurrence or new abnormalities.
6. Take Medications as Prescribed
Some breast cancer survivors may be prescribed specific medications, such as hormonal therapies or targeted therapies. It is essential to take these medications as prescribed by healthcare professionals, as they can significantly reduce the risk of recurrence.
7. Join the Love Letters to Our Bodies Workshops
Learn more about the subtle body and how energy affects your wellbeing. Share experiences and hear from dynamic women who are thriving since their diagnoses. Write your Love Letter which will be published along with letters from other participants. This workshop is a beautiful healing retreat!
While there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing breast cancer recurrence, adopting these proactive approaches can help reduce the risk and provide women with a sense of control over their health. Regular follow-up care, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, limiting exposure to hormone replacement therapy, conducting breast self-examinations, and adhering to prescribed medications can all contribute to a woman's overall well-being and decrease the chances of breast cancer recurrence. Remember, knowledge is power, so stay informed and work closely with healthcare professionals to create a personalized plan for a healthier future.