A resource for those affected by breast cancer

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Breast Cancer

Diagnosis

Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a life-changing moment in a woman's life. It begins a journey of emotional turmoil that will test relationships and individual strength, and even though the future may seem uncertain, there is light ahead.

Asking for help is not an easy task for most people, whether you are healthy and fit or dealing with something challenging like breast cancer.

But it’s an important skill that can be practiced and learned, and can make your treatment and recovery easier.

Your family, including your children, will want to help and support you every step of your journey.

Women facing a diagnosis of breast cancer have enough on their minds without having to worry about insurance coverage. The best thing you can do is familiarize yourself with your plan, call to ask questions if you need to, and know your rights.

There’s no doubt that you will feel stress after a breast cancer diagnosis and during your treatment, but how you deal with that emotion can have a big impact on your overall well-being.

Surgery and treatment is challenging, even with the support of family, friends and your healthcare team. Being prepared will help you feel more in control.

Do you have something you’d like to share with others about your breast cancer diagnosis? If you do we’d love to hear from you.

Your insight could make a real difference to someone’s life.

Breast Cancer

Treatment

You may have been presented with a number of different treatment choices. Let’s explore the options and what they mean for your future.

Once diagnosed, you are faced with a potentially confusing set of treatment options. Here we briefly outline the options available.

You may find you’re overloaded with information when visiting your doctor, so we’ve compiled a useful list of things to ask about chemotherapy to help you feel in control.

If your doctor recommends radiation therapy as part of a comprehensive cancer treatment program, you should know what to expect, and how to take care of your body and your skin during this phase.

Recovering from surgery is not just a physical process; there are significant emotional issues to deal with too. Talking about your concerns is important, so reach out to your breast care nurse, doctor, family and friends, or find a support group, to ensure you get the help you need.

More than just a way to cover your head, wearing a headscarf can be a badge of courage, style and confidence. Here's a How-To for tying them on with ease.

If you have a particular experience or insight about your breast cancer treatment, that might help other women on this stage of their journey, we’d love to hear from you.

Please share a few words with us. You could make a real difference to someone’s life.

Breast Cancer

Recovery

You’ve had your surgery but now’s the time to be good to yourself. Don’t try to rush your recovery, there’s no fixed timeline and even the smallest of steps are positive moves forward.

If you are what you eat, then a healthy diet should be a key part of your wellness plan.

In most respects, the advice for breast cancer survivors is similar to that for other women who are interested in optimal nutrition. However, there are a few special considerations during and after breast cancer treatment.

Some pressures are healthy, and even necessary. The adrenaline rush we feel at the start of a new project, or when we have a deadline approaching, helps motivate us. But when we try to do too much, all the time, stress becomes the enemy – quite literally.

Sometimes, relieving stress is about escaping from the everyday and just turning down the volume for a while.

The right time to go back to work will be different for every woman.

With some simple, practical adjustments it’s possible to work around your treatment and recovery in a way that benefits you and allows you to ease back into your normal routine.

Lymphedema affects one in five women who have had breast cancer treatment.

It can develop immediately or symptoms may not appear until months or even years later.

We find out how surgeons, specialists and support groups are helping women to manage the condition.

Your treatment is over, and your life is pretty much back to normal. You look and feel good, physically, and everyone is relieved that the worst is behind you. So why are you feeling so anxious? Relax. You are not alone. It’s not uncommon for women to feel anxiety when treatment for breast cancer stops.

Coming to terms with life when treatment is over, is all part of the recovery process.

What helped pull you through this difficult stage? By sharing your experience you could really help someone else.

Breast Cancer

Living

Recovery will eventually turn into routine as you grow accustomed to your new life.

There are breast cancer support groups in most communities, and increasingly, you can get personal support online. Some women find this more comfortable, even, than face-to-face meetings.

Breast cancer is not a “one size fits all” disease, which is something many women don’t realize until they are diagnosed. If you’ve chosen to forego further surgery and wear breast prostheses instead, it can be a natural, easy way to return to your “new normal.”

Read one woman’s unique perspective on this choice.

Breast cancer changes the way you view things – from life’s various trials to the most trivial day-to-day experiences.

Overcoming something as emotionally and physically challenging as a mastectomy creates huge changes in a woman’s life. We emerge stronger and more resilient, with a new awareness of our bodies. Inevitably, there’s also a new set of considerations when choosing an outfit.

Once you’re comfortable with the basics, however, there’s no reason why your surgery should limit the range of your wardrobe, or hamper your own sense of style.

It’s safe to say that society has accepted the body-mind-spirit connection, especially in times of stress and illness. Research is firmly behind the idea that one of the keys to all three is to take care of the first: the body.

Before, during and after treatment for breast cancer, taking good care with physical activity is vital. It doesn’t have to be overly difficult, either.

What would you like to share with others about your life after breast cancer?

Your experience could have a positive and lasting effect on other women.

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