If you were diagnosed with breast cancer, you’ve likely spent weeks worried and anxious about your future and your life. This may be the first time you’ve faced your mortality. However, you will soon see that your life takes on a new pattern.
You will start getting used to ongoing treatment and being in and out of the hospital. You may even gain some hope once your cancer shrinks in size. Once you start feeling a bit more in control of your life and your future, it is time to start focusing on what you can do to have better health during breast cancer treatment.
The food you put into your body is key toward strengthening your body during cancer treatment. According to the Cancer Council Western Australia, eating nutritious food will boost your immunity, help heal damaged tissue, and maintain your weight at healthy levels.
Be sure to add plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables to as many meals as possible. Talk to your doctor about which food products you should eat and which you should avoid. Often grapefruit has been found to mix negatively with some drugs cancer patients take.
Chemotherapy can make your tastebuds act very strangely, WebMD reports. Simple foods like meat and water can start tasting unpleasant or metallic. If you’re having a hard time drinking water, add some lemon slices to your water or try drinking mineral water.
If meat is hard to eat, try getting other forms of protein in your system such as eggs, beans, fish, tofu, or low-fat dairy.
Constipation can also be a common problem during cancer treatment. You can prevent constipation and stay healthy by keeping hydrated and adding more fiber into your diet. Another trick is to get moving – even a 20-minute walk is good at preventing constipation.
If you find your appetite lacking during breast cancer treatment and you see yourself losing too much weight, you may want to start eating snacks every two hours instead of big meals every four to five hours.
Consider eating some oatmeal to get your calorie-intake and healthy carbohydrates. Have some whole wheat toast with peanut butter or some pita bread with hummus. If you don’t want a big plate of meat and potatoes, consider getting some soup or yogurt instead. A fruit and veggie smoothie is also a good idea.
It’s not always about the size of your meals but the amount you eat throughout the day. If you have snacks every couple of hours, you should be getting enough calories into your system to stay at a healthy weight.
Another key aspect of staying healthy during breast cancer treatment is fitness and physical activity. There are specific benefits of exercising during cancer treatment such as keeping your body stronger, helping alleviate depression, and alleviating side effects of treatment.
Strangely enough, exercise can actually help you reduce the exhaustion or fatigue you may feel during this process. There are a number of different fitness programs you can take on specifically created for cancer patients.
These include meditation, yoga, mindfulness and relaxation, and other exercise classes. It’s important to take it relatively easy and not put too much stress on your body when exercising.
Try walking for half an hour per day. It can go a long way toward keeping your body strong. You can even walk for 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes after dinnertime.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, you should stop smoking during cancer treatment even if you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer.
There are a number of health benefits to quitting smoking such as your heart rate and blood pressure levels are normalized, you’ll have lower risk of cardiac disease and other chronic problems, and your lungs and respiratory system will work more efficiently.
If you follow these tips when undergoing breast cancer treatment, you should come out as healthy as possible once your chemotherapy and radiation therapy is behind you.