Breast Cancer 101: How to Improve Prognosis and Stay Healthy
Remember Shannen Doherty from the iconic show Beverly Hills, 90210? The actress was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and went through stage IV after four years of surgery, radiation, and chemo. Thanks to advancements in medical science the star fought the battle like a warrior and continued her journey in films.
And there are so many celebrities like her who got diagnosed with a tumour in one or both breasts. However, the ongoing global research in therapies has shown improved survival rates among cancer patients.
Let’s throw in a quick stat- The number of women who died due to breast cancer went down by 40% in the past 25-30 years.
Oncologists suggest that patients can resort to different ways to improve their prognosis and increase their chance of living. One of them is lifestyle modification. Studies show that introducing lifestyle changes can improve the reduction of the patient’s risk of recurrence.
Read on to know how lifestyle factors can improve prognosis in patients with breast cancer so that they can lead a more healthy life.
Maintain Healthy Body Weight
Recent studies have shown that women who gain weight during or after cancer treatment are more prone to breast cancer-related death. And obese women at the time of treatment are reported to have a poorer prognosis.
Factors like stress eating, hormonal changes, lowered metabolic rate from chemo, reduced activity level due to constant fatigue, and treatment regarding adverse side effects can cause weight gain during the treatment period.
Hence, medical experts suggest women maintain their body weight, especially if they want to reduce their risk of breast cancer.
Exercise Has a Significant Impact
Among the other lifestyle factors, exercise is suggested to have the most robust effect on reducing the chance of breast cancer recurrence. The American Cancer Society encourages patients to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise along with two-three strength training sessions twice a week for improved symptoms.
The combination of aerobic and resistance exercise has been shown to provide optimal results. One can even join organizations that provide free exercise programs for cancer victims.
Or, if you have gone through a breast cancer treatment, you know how vital it is to have science-backed knowledge.
For this, you can contribute to a breast cancer fundraising company. You will feel that you have helped many people by donating your money. You can also feel proud of yourself and your family members as well because it is a noble act that you have done for humanity.
Diet Can Help
Preclinical research indicates that consumption of saturated fats and high-fat dairy products might raise the risk of breast cancer mortality.
Excess intake of carbohydrates and lipids can also change the metabolic and hormonal processes, which might affect the development of metastasis.
Some studies suggest there’s no significant effect of a Mediterranean diet ( a diet rich in veggies, fruits, fish, red wine, etc.) on reducing the risk of recurrence. However, other studies suggest a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet (excluding red wine) can improve the survival rate among breast cancer patients.
Factors like smoking, alcohol intake, and certain vitamins have also shown a promising association with breast cancer mortality. Yet, detailed research is required to confirm these findings.