A cancer diagnosis can be frightening for a patient and their family. Discovering that you have breast cancer will signal the start of a treatment journey toward remission.
Treatments for breast cancer can include chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Each of these treatments can create significant discomfort.
Fortunately, there are some simple things that you can do to help yourself feel better throughout your breast cancer treatment so that you have the physical stamina and mental fortitude to complete your journey.
1. Change Your Eating Habits
Many breast cancer treatments can cause patients to feel nauseated throughout the day. You can combat this nausea by making a few simple changes to your eating habits.
Instead of eating three larger meals a day, try eating several smaller meals. Reducing your portion sizes and increasing your meal frequency may help settle your stomach.
You should avoid any foods that are greasy or have an extreme odor, as these characteristics can trigger your nausea.
Be sure to stay hydrated by sipping clear liquids, broths, or sugar-free sports drinks throughout the day as well. These liquids can help replace any electrolytes that your body loses when you vomit and reduce feelings of nausea.
2. Continue Exercising
Fatigue is a common complaint among patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Some treatment protocols can go on for months, which can trigger deep fatigue. The best way to fight off this type of deep fatigue is to continue exercising throughout your treatment.
Regular exercise can actually help your body produce endorphins, which reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue. You will need to reduce the intensity of your workouts and opt for low-impact exercises like yoga, pilates, or brisk walks.
Be sure that you check with your doctor to see if you need to follow any special instructions while exercising to avoid complications with your treatment plan.
3. Monitor Your Oral Health
Both chemotherapy and radiation can cause mouth sores to appear. It's important that you are monitoring your oral health throughout your breast cancer treatment to prevent mouth sores from becoming problematic.
Try using a softer toothbrush, avoiding any mouthwash that contains alcohol, and using a non-abrasive toothpaste during treatment. These products are gentler on your gums and won't irritate any sores you do develop.
You should also avoid any acidic foods and beverages and try drinking through a straw to minimize the impact mouth sores can have on your day-to-day activities.