Read these 8 Well being Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cancer tips and hundreds of other topics.
Three different theories are around on doing a self breast exam. The first is: do it, it doesn't cost anything and it might prove to be beneficial. The second: is by doing a self-exam women see their breasts as an "enemy" that needs to be watched carefully. They may develop to hate their breasts and their body because of a fear of cancer. The third theory: if you love your body, you want to take care of it and watch it, nuture it, and respect it. Doing a self-exam is a positive experience. Then there's my theory: have your significant other do the exam! They are probably more familiar with your breasts than you are, so if there's any change they'll be sure to notice. Plus, look at all the fun it may lead to! ;-)
Sometimes with cancer treatments, you're sitting in your chair looking into your garden wondering exactly how that snail has so much energy and you don?t? Well, your body is going through World War III and the snail is eating your geraniums. Sometimes you just have to sit, rest, and even sleep while your body heals. You also need to get up, walk around, and enjoy life around you. Butt callouses are not a healthy addition to your plight.
First, congratulations on performing your monthly self-exams. The sooner your find a lump, the higher your rates of survival. Second, take a deep breath because 80% of the lumps found are not cancerous (benign). Third, call your doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible. The only way to know if your breast lump is cancerous is to have a biopsy. Fourth, depending on your lab results you and your doctor will figure out a game plan.
Cancer patients seem to have more energy fluctuations than other people. One day, they feel fine and want to accomplish as much as they can, and the next day it's all they can do to raise their head off the pillow. Try to pace yourself, spread your tasks out over the week to maintain an even keel. As Anothy Trollope said, "A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules."
Taking cancer drugs as part of your cancer treatment plan can create emotional turmoil, add stress and uproot your sense of stability. Cancer drugs can come in the form of pills, injections, intravenous, or chemotherapy. The same cancer drugs used to treat your cancer, have side effects that can make you very ill. Knowing the cancer treatment is going to make you ill can make it more difficult to take the drugs. Stress and anxiety, however, is an enemy. Learning to relax or lower your anxiety can make the process of receiving and dealing with the side effects of the cancer drugs more tolerable.
• Bring an mp3 player loaded with music you find relaxing or with audiotapes for relaxation. Put on headphones and listen while receiving your cancer drugs or after when you aren't feeling well.
• Make a deal with yourself to treat yourself to something either before or after your cancer treatment. A foot massage, warm bath, dinner, movie or anything else you find pleasurable.
• Take long, slow breaths each time you feel yourself getting agitated or upset. Try to think of a time or place that brings peace to your heart.
Learning to relax and lessen your anxiety will make taking the cancer drugs as part of your cancer treatment more do-able.
Doing a breast exam is easy but not quick. Some women do a quick padding and squeeze of the nipples to check for discharge and call it good. There's actually a little more to it than that. In the US, you can call 1-800- 4 CANCER to order cancer publications and a self-exam guide.
First, stand in a mirror and look for any thing that seems unusual, you're checking for skin discolorations, pinching, lumpiness, and basic form. Squeeze each nipple to check for discharge. Next, do the same but have your arms raised. Third, lay on your back, one arm tucked under your head and with your other hand pat and push your breast tissue. You're looking for anything lumpy. Before my mom had her tumor removed, it felt like a small golf ball in her breast, very hard and dense. It didn't move and her breast tissue moved around it. This is the only breast lump I've felt, so I don't know if this is normal or not. My theory is, you'll know something's wrong when you feel it. And finally, some women like to do the last step in the shower.