12 Strategies for Dealing with Negative Effects of Metastatic Breast Cancer Therapy
Once you are diagnosed with metastatic (stage IV) breast cancer, your doctor’s key aim is to slow its progression and increase your outlook. Often the first therapy doctors try for metastatic breast cancer is hormone therapy. You may additionally have chemotherapy, radiation, or alternative therapies.
When these treatments can help prolong your life, they also bring about side effects that can make your day-to-day life a whole lot less agreeable. Common side effects of breast cancer therapy include:
- Hair loss
- Hot flashes
- Greater chance of infections
- Joint or bone pain
- Loss of desire
- Mood swings
- Mouth sores
- Nausea and vomiting
- numbness or tingling
- Vaginal dryness
These should improve once you finish treatment. But while you are on therapy, here are 12 steps you can take to relieve these side effects and feel comfortable.
1. Conserve energy
Chemotherapy and radiation are draining. These along with other cancer treatments kill healthy cells, forcing the system to work overtime to create brand new ones. A lack of sleep and poor nutrition — other negative effects of cancer and its treatment — may also leave you weary.
To control fatigue, get as much rest as you possibly can. Simply take naps through the day if you’ll need them. Do not try to accomplish too much. Save the vitality you have.
2. Up your fiber intake
Cancer treatment can make you constipated, with hard stools that are difficult to pass. Bowel movements may not be on the very top of your set of concerns right now, but when you can’t proceed for days at a time, then you are going to come to feel bloated, crampy, and gloomy.
To ease constipation, get more fiber in your daily diet from fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods or take a fiber supplement.
3. Make time for a workout
Fatigue from cancer and its treatments will make exercising seem hopeless, but if you get a few activities in daily, you’ll feel better and have more energy.
Exercise also can help you sleep better and enhances your hunger, also relieves constipation.
Start with just 10 minutes of workout daily, and work your way as much as half an hour or longer as your own stamina returns.
4. Divide up your meals
Cancer treatments can affect your desire and cause mouth sores that make eating more difficult and painful. As you require proper nutrition to help your body heal, attempt to eat smaller meals that are packed with protein and nutrients. Include foods such as peanut butter, whole-milk yogurt, milkshakes, and granola. You may even add nutrient drinks and snacks every day.
5. Drink more fluid
As mentioned before, some cancer treatments can cause constipation. Drinking more water and other fluids throughout the entire day is likely to create your stools looser and easier to pass.
You also need more water if you’ve got the opposite issue. Diarrhea — another frequent treatment side effect — can irritate you in case you do not drink enough.
Drinking extra water or even a soda such as ginger ale may also help relieve nausea.
6. Be gentle
Chemotherapy and radiation damage hair follicles and cause hair thinning. Cancer treatment can also make you bleed easily.
During this time, wash your hair often. Avoid pulling on it using surplus heat from the hair straightening iron or curling iron. Brush it gently using a wide-toothed comb.
Be gentle in your teeth brush them with a soft toothbrush. And switch out of a straight razor into an electric one in order to prevent nicks.
7. Utilize smoke or heat
Cold and heat are useful for the injuries that can occur during treatment. Use whatever one feels better on your aggravation or sore joints. Just make certain you pay for the ice pack with a cloth, also keep the heating mat in a low setting to avoid burning your skin.
8. Dress in Loose Fitting clothing
Hot flashes are common in women who are going through menopause, but it may also be a negative effect of treatments for breast cancer. Taking estrogen can relieve hot flashes. But this hormone therapy isn’t recommended for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, as it can increase the danger of recurrenceTrusted Source. To stay cool without medicine, wear loose-fitting clothes in layers you could remove if you receive overly sexy.
9. Wash your hands
Some cancer treatments decrease the number of all infection-fighting white blood cells in your body. Without these cells, then you are prone to viruses and other germs.
To avert an infection, wash your hands often with soap and warm water. Sing”Happy Birthday” twice to make sure you wash for long enough.
10. Try acupuncture
Acupuncture uses very fine needles to stimulate various pressure points throughout the entire body. Clinical trialsTrusted Source has revealed that this alternative therapy alleviates nausea and nausea caused by chemotherapy. It could also be helpful with additional negative effects, such as hot flashes, fatigue, and dry mouth.
11. Maintain a notebook
From the notes, part of your smartphone with paper and pencil cut down all of the negative effects you’re experiencing in the treatment. Once your doctor knows your symptoms, they can recommend the perfect procedures to manage them.
You could also apply your notebook to create your self reminders when”chemo brain” — that the fuzziness some people get after chemotherapy treatment — strikes.
12. Find service
Cancer can flip your entire world upsidedown. Undergoing treatment becomes your principal focus, taking priority over work, family, and also everything else that was once central to your everyday life. Additionally, it can cause you to feel tired, overrun, and incredibly sad.
Don’t try to get through this alone. Lean on the people that are closest to you — your family and great friends. And seek support from professionals such as psychologists and counselors who are trained to utilize those who have cancer.