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  • Writer's pictureSurviving Breast Cancer

9 Essential Tips for Breast Cancer Survivors



Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, with over two million new cases diagnosed annually. A breast cancer diagnosis is life-altering, and surviving is a testament to your resilience and strength. However, the road to recovery is often long and challenging.


As a survivor, you face the task of readjusting to life after treatment. This can include unique challenges, but there are ways to improve your quality of life and overall well-being. Continue reading for essential tips to help breast cancer survivors navigate this new chapter and flourish in their post-treatment lives.


1. Maintain a Healthy Diet


A balanced diet is crucial in maintaining your overall well-being. It strengthens the immune system and can reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Conversely, diets high in meat, alcohol, and certain types of fat can increase the risk of breast cancer. Instead, incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into your daily meals while limiting your intake of processed foods, saturated fats, and sugars.


2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity


Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight and a better quality of life and reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In addition, physical activity has stress-reducing benefits, like increasing endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. It can also enhance your mood, help you relax, and improve your sleep.


Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week and muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week. Consult with your healthcare team to create a personalized fitness plan.


3. Prioritize Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being


Addressing the emotional and psychological challenges accompanying survivorship is crucial. Seek support from friends, family, or support groups. Consider professional help if you experience anxiety, depression, or other mental health concerns.


Support groups and therapy can help survivors process emotions, cope with the fear of recurrence, and rebuild self-esteem. Sharing your story with others can provide healing and inspire hope. Consider joining a support group like Surviving Breast Cancer’s Thursday Night Thrivers.


4. Manage Lymphedema


Lymphedema is a common side effect of breast cancer treatment due to removing or damaging lymph nodes, causing swelling and discomfort. Working with a certified lymphedema therapist can help manage symptoms and prevent complications. You can learn more about preventative measures and early intervention strategies from your healthcare team or the National Lymphedema Network for resources and a therapist directory.


5. Stay Informed About Post-Treatment Care


Regular check-ups with your healthcare team to monitor for recurrence or new cancers are essential. Post-treatment care may include regular mammograms (if you still have breast tissue), physical exams, and symptom assessments. Communicate with your healthcare team to ensure you understand your ongoing care and any signs of potential recurrence.


6. Be Vigilant About Bone Health


Breast cancer treatments can impact bone health, increasing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Talk with your healthcare provider about bone density screenings, supplements, and lifestyle changes to improve bone health.


7. Explore Complementary Therapies


Therapies like acupuncture, yoga, and meditation can help alleviate stress, anxiety, and treatment-related side effects. Discuss these options with your healthcare team to find what works for you.


8. Consider Breast Reconstruction or Prosthetics


Breast reconstruction and prosthetics can help improve self-esteem and body image after surgery. Consider consulting with a plastic surgeon to discuss options and determine the best choice for your needs.


9. Embrace Your “New Normal”


Adjusting to life after breast cancer may require reevaluating priorities, setting new goals, and accepting a “new normal.” Give yourself time and space to process your experience and make necessary changes.


Count On Us for Information, Resources, and Support


We hope these tips will help you optimize your physical and emotional well-being, paving the way for a thriving life after breast cancer. Remember that this is an ongoing process, so don't be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. If you have any questions about these tips, please reach out to us — we’re here for you!


Whether you’re newly diagnosed with breast cancer, are navigating survivorship, or are the loved one of someone experiencing breast cancer, you can count on SurvivingBreastCancer.org to keep you informed. We provide educational information to help you better understand symptoms, testing, treatment options, surgery, etc., and podcasts that feature professionals, advocates, and caregivers that share valuable information.


Your donations enable SurvivingBreastCancer.org to offer resources and support every day, every month, and every year.


SBC is here for you!


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Meditation Mondays:

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Thursday Night Thrivers:

All Stages Support Group

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Thursday Night Thrivers:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group

First and third Thursdays

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET

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Thursday Night Thrivers:

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Support Group

Second Thursday

of the month at 7:00 p.m. ET

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Tuesday Night Thrivers

Después de un Diagnóstico:

Grupo de Apoyo en Español

2do y Cuarto Martes de cada mes 

7:00 p.m. ET

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Encourage and Empower

For Newly Diagnosed

September 10, 11:00 a.m. ET

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Breast Cancer Book Club

The first Sunday of the month

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Restorative Yoga:

Unearthing Opportunities

May 20 ,  5:30 p.m. ET

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In Body Breathwork

May 21 ,  6:00 p.m. ET

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Brain Spotting

May 27,  6:00 p.m. ET

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Qi Gong

May 28,  11:30 a.m. ET

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June 3, 6:00 p.m. ET

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Reflect & Recharge

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Upcoming Events

1

Surviving Breast Cancer provides breast cancer support, events, and webinars at no cost to you! Whether you are looking to gain more knowledge on a particular topic or meet up with other breast cancer survivors, we have something for everyone. 

2

Our standing appointment on Thursdays is for all stages. We also host specific breakout groups once a month for specific stages and subtypes such as Metastatic breast cancer, and Inflammatory Breast Cancer, etc. 

3

The Book Club meets the first Sunday of every month at 11 am ET. You are welcome to join each month or pick and choose your month based on your availability and the book we are reading. 

4

Through art, writing, and other creative modalities, we hold the power to manage our stress, make sense of our now, and relax into moments of stillness. 

5

Free, monthly, online classes in restorative yoga, yoga for breast cancer, and Zumba. 

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Después de un Diagnóstico

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