After breast cancer, many women feel they need to make changes to their lifestyle in order to stay healthy. Some of the most common changes include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting regular checkups.
1. Eating a healthy diet: It is important to eat a variety of healthy foods including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. It is also important to limit processed foods, sugary drinks, and red meat.
2. Exercising regularly: Exercise is important for overall health and can also help reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. It is recommended that breast cancer survivors exercise for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week.
3. Getting regular checkups: Follow-up care is important for all cancer survivors. This includes regular checkups with your doctor, mammograms, and other tests as recommended by your doctor.
4. Managing stress: Stress can have a negative impact on overall health, so it is important to find ways to manage stress. This may include yoga, meditation, and spending time with friends and family.
5. Quit smoking: If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your health. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence and also improve your overall health.
Nearly 40,000 women in the United States are expected to die from breast cancer this year. Thankfully, more women than ever before are surviving the disease. In fact, the death rate from breast cancer has dropped 39% since 1989, according in part to the American Cancer Society.
If you’re a breast cancer survivor, you may be wondering what you can do to stay healthy now. After all, you’ve been through a lot.
Here are five changes you can make to lower your risk of the cancer coming back or of developing other health problems:
1. Get to and stay at a healthy weight
Excess weight is linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer, including breast cancer. And if the cancer does come back, it’s more likely to be aggressive and harder to treat.
Aim to maintain a healthy weight by following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. And if you need to lose weight, do so slowly by making small changes to your diet and activity level.
2. Get moving
Exercise is important for all of us, but it’s especially critical for breast cancer survivors. That’s because research has shown that physical activity can help reduce the risk of the cancer recurring.
How much exercise do you need? The American Cancer Society recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like running) every week. You can spread your exercise out over the course of a week, or do it all in one day. And if you can’t do that much, even a little bit of exercise can help.
3. Don’t smoke
If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Smoking raises your risk of many types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Quitting smoking is hard, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are many resources available to help, including counseling, medications, and support groups.
4. Limit alcohol
Drinking alcohol also raises your risk of breast cancer. The more you drink, the greater your risk. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
5. Get screening tests
Screening tests help find breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable. The kind of screening test you need and how often you need it depends on several factors, including your age, your personal and family medical history, and the results of previous screening tests.
Talk to your doctor about which screening tests are right for you and how often you need them.
Making even small changes in your lifestyle can have a big impact on your health. So take things one step at a time and focus on what you can do today to improve your health and lower your risk of cancer.