You have been diagnosed with breast cancer and need to commence treatment as soon as possible. While chemotherapy and radiation has been successful in treating breast cancer, unfavourable side effects include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, and constipation.
As a result, you probably want to take steps to alleviate them as much as possible. Below are 5 steps you can take to address breast cancer symptoms you may be experiencing.
Once you are diagnosed with breast cancer, you receive medication to prevent the growth of the cancer cells and to prevent unnecessary pain. Unfortunately, secondary breast cancer can result in pain even when taking medications.
Painkillers are prescribed based on the level of pain you feel. Strong opioids are more useful for treating severe pain. Your doctor is more likely to prescribe oral morphine before considering other opioids. It’s also important to note that painkillers might have mild side effects or result in dependency so consult with your doctor on how to use them properly
2. Physical therapy
Physical therapy is a convenient way to make breast cancer pain bearable without the use of prescribed medicine. Some of the common physical therapy options include acupuncture, movement therapy, and breathing techniques. These are considered some of the most successful alternative treatments for breast cancer available.
Acupuncture involves a skilled acupuncturist who uses thin needles to relieve pain by putting them at specific pressure points around the body. Movement therapy includes tai chi and yoga. It helps to boost blood circulation, better your moods, and improve your overall health. If you experience sudden bouts of pain, breathing techniques can help to ease the intense pain and gives you what is needed to overcome it.
3. Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT)
Breast cancer symptoms cannot only affect you physically but also emotionally or mentally. Some people are overwhelmed with the fear of pain associated with cancer treatment. Others are overly stressed due to the uncertainty of what is going to happen.
All this fear and frustration is not healthy for you. It only serves to slow the progression of your treatment and can play a role in allowing your cancer to advance. This can mean more severe and painful symptoms for you. The best way to avoid this is to seek counseling from a well-trained counselor. He/she can make suggestions to you regarding how to identify and respond to such troublesome thoughts to help you feel in more control. A healthier mindset will give you a boost, allowing you to address the symptoms of the breast cancer more effectively.
4. Dietary supplements
Although there has been minimal evidence to show the effectiveness of nutritional supplements in treating breast cancer, research carried out in 2015 explained that increased intake of vitamin B and E supplements help to reduce breast cancer pain.
Vitamin B is rich in riboflavin and has proven to have a positive impact on your immune system that may have been weakened by chemotherapy. Vitamin E carry antioxidants that protect your cells. These two supplements are safe for consumption, but you are always advised to first consult your physician before including them in your regimen.
5. Adopt a healthy diet
Most if not all physicians appreciate the link between nutrition and longevity among cancer patients. Certain foods are said to enhance the chances of survival, especially for breast cancer patients. For instance, Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention reported that eating soy could help to lower the mortality risk in breast cancer patients.
Eating a healthy diet, in general, could help boost your overall health and significantly lower the progression of breast cancer symptoms.