A recent study reported an estimated 31% increase in the number of breast cancer survivors in the United States with a figure of 3.4 million survivors in 2015. This figure is reflective in Australia and also represents the increase in survivorship from the disease as a result of early detection and improved treatments. Breast Cancer is now considered as a chronic condition rather than a life threatening disease.
With survivorship, comes new health challenges, these include but are not limited to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and bone health issues, depression, recurrence of cancer and other chronic problems.
Following cancer treatment, survivors should not only want to reduce their chances of the cancer returning, but also improve their overall health and learn how to manage unwanted side effects and challenges resulting from treatment.
Life style changes which focus on a proactive approach to the improvement of overall health is vital. This proactive lifestyle must include the management of body mass index (BMI) through diet and exercise and stress management. Many studies are demonstrating that interventions used to increase healthy eating together with an active lifestyle can increase quality of life and improve survival rates in breast cancer survivors.
Information found in the following links may aid in developing a wellness plan. It features ways you can nurture your physical and emotional wellbeing. A good wellness plan should include the essential components of total health, which include Healthy Eating, Active Living and Emotional Resilience and Maintaining a Healthy Weight. (Bodai, 2015).
Emotional resilience is defined simply as one’s ability to adapt to stress and change. The more emotional resilience you have the more you are able to cope with the challenges of life including chronic illness or ill health.
An excellent YouTube video that gives food for thought on stress and stress management, is a talk by Dr Mike Evans; The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do For Your Stress. This short presentation is excellent for giving some direction on how to manage stress. We have excellent psychologists as part of our multidisciplinary team who are able to assist in incorporating stress management into your life. Effective stress management aids in maintaining emotional resilience, which in turn affects overall wellness.
Learn more about Information designed to assist our Patients: