Many women who develop breast cancer overcome the disease to lead long, productive lives. In fact, nearly all women who are diagnosed with stage I breast cancer live for at least another five years (and usually much longer than that). Survivors have their own special concerns because they are susceptible to relapses, making it vital breast cancer survivors know what options are available to help them manage their health.
Breast cancer survivors, especially those who have undergone mastectomies, often get the emotional support they need from survivor groups. Being with other breast cancer survivors helps many women adjust to life after cancer. You might feel that people who have not experienced breast cancer simply can’t understand all you’ve gone through as a breast cancer survivor. However, meeting and sharing with others who have survived the disease can help you keep a better perspective on life and the effects of breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Society also provides a support network for individuals currently receiving treatment for active breast cancer.
Talking to other women and men who have experienced breast cancer can help you learn how to reduce your chances of developing the disease again. Some of these groups might also have exercise and nutrition classes to help you improve your overall health.
Breast cancer survivors who make the necessary lifestyle changes may have a better chance of staying in remission longer than those who do not. Talk to your doctor about the lifestyle changes that would benefit you best. In general, breast cancer survivors should eat a well-balanced diet low in fat, get regular exercise, and perform monthly self-examinations for lumps.
Some women develop breast cancer because of their genetics, but in most cases there are behavioral and environmental factors that can influence the chances of getting the disease again.
Women who have had breast cancer are at a higher risk of the developing the disease again. Some women stay in remission for the rest of their lives, while others find they might have to battle cancer continuously throughout their lives. As with other types of cancer, breast cancer is treated most easily when it is diagnosed in early stages. Bottom line — breast cancer survivors need to remain especially vigilant to make sure they recognize early symptoms before they develop into more complicated stages.
Using all of the tools available to you in your community and on the Internet will help you find the best possible quality of life after breast cancer. Many people gain a new perspective on life after surviving traumatic diseases like breast cancer. In many ways, this “new life” may be more rewarding and filled with more happiness and enjoyment than before.