Breast Cancer Does Not Need to Ruin Your Life 1

Part 1.

When you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, it may suddenly feel like the only thing that matters to you.  While it is important for you to spend time thinking about your treatment options and other arrangements, your cancer diagnosis doesn’t have to become your whole life.  With a bit of effort you can help take the focus off your cancer and continue thinking about the things that really matter to you.


The most important part of getting through breast cancer treatment is having people around to support you.  Whether it be friends, family, a support group, or another group of people, that support can actually be the difference between a failed and successful treatment.  Talking to survivors and learning as much as you can about the disease is a great way to stay positive and pro-active about your health.


If you let it, breast cancer can easily take over you life, from what you do to how you think.  This can leave you more stressed out and make your body less able to fight the disease.


Instead of stressing about what to do next, focus on relieving your stress.  A great way to do this is through yoga.  It calms your mind and body, helps you feel better mentally, and has even been shown to relieve the physical symptoms of breast cancer and cancer treatments.


Many people get their diagnosis and decide immediately that they must be strong and not let it get to them.  While this seems like a great philosophy, it’s not necessarily realistic.  You need to take time to express what you’re feeling instead of simply suppressing it and letting it get to you.


Yes, it’s good to keep a positive outlook, but you also need to take time to cry and vent your frustrations and fears to a friend or family member.  This will help you feel better and get through each day.


Continued in Part 2.


Breast Self-Exams Can Save your Life 2

Part 2.

Remember, most breast lumps are not cancer.  Pay attention for lumps that persist more than a month, or that grow or change shape with time. Again, new research says that just because you might be prone to lumps does not mean that you will inevitably get cancer.


You doctor can perform tests to determine if a bump is cancerous or benign; so you should see them with any concerns.


It is important to perform breast self-exams regularly, not just once or twice.  This is because a breast exam is looking more for changes rather than problems that are noticed with one exam.


You need to know how your breasts look and feel normally to determine if something has changed or is changing.  This means keeping it up regularly to find problem.


If you have breasts with a more lumpy consistency, or if you’re just not good at remembering your breast texture enough to notice changes, you might want to start keeping a journal.


This way, you can make notes or even draw a quick sketch to help yourself remember.  If you do notice changes, you can simply take the journal to your doctor to help find the problem.  You can also note down your dates on a calendar to remind yourself to do the exam, and check your health diary to make sure you are keeping up.


Because your breasts change somewhat during your cycle, perform exams at the same time every cycle.  While some people pick a day every month, this will gradually move to different times in your menstrual cycle.  A better time would be to perform is right after the end of your period every month.


While mammograms and annual exams are also essential, the self-exam is your most powerful tool in detecting breast cancer early, and therefore having a better chance of treating it successfully.