Moving on ABC After Breast Cancer: A Complete Approach by Dr Anneela Saleem Ebook
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Publication Date: June 2016
File Size: 24793 Kbytes
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Most cancer survivors share certain experiences. Sadly, it can be all too easy for cancer survivors to be held back by anxiety and fears, and to struggle to regain their confidence and self-esteem. I have written this book to help those that are struggling after breast cancer and to pass on what I can through my own experiences and knowledge as a doctor for over twenty years .The title of the book, ‘Moving on ABC After Breast Cancer’ encompasses the idea of needing some guidance and support for the difficulties you may face after breast cancer and its treatment. This is combined with advice on how to look good and how to nourish your mind, body and spirit in your own journey forward.
Breast cancer can take an enormous toll on a woman’s physical and emotional well being and will, in most cases, be proportional to the extent of her treatment. What happens next, to a large degree, depends on the individual’s approach to the after-effects of cancer. We can try and forget it all, put it behind us, or we can embrace what has happened, accept it and move forward in a more focused and considered way. You may think why bother? But for many women, it is in their best interests to try and improve their diet, lifestyle and environment. Increasingly, there is more and more evidence to suggest that by making such changes, our risk of a breast cancer recurrence may be reduced. Healthy lifestyle choices can also help us to feel better both physically and emotionally right now.
In this book I explore my own experience of breast cancer, and offer practical advice and support by looking at some of the difficulties and decision making processes I have been through myself. I have struggled with a number of side effects of hormonal treatment and am aware that many women stop taking their prescribed medications because of them. Instead of giving up on these proven life-saving treatments, I will suggest ways that may help you to cope with some of the potential side effects.
Fatigue after cancer and its treatment affects just about everyone to some degree. I anticipated that it would probably take a few months after completing my treatment to make a full recovery. To my dismay even six months later I was not back to full health and I still tired easily. I learned, after much trial and error, that this ‘Cancer Related Fatigue’ has many similarities to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and can be managed in a similar way by planning, prioritising and pacing your jobs and activities.
As well as fatigue, symptoms of low mood and anxiety are commonplace in breast cancer survivors. These problems can have secondary effects such as a lack of concentration, poor motivation and sleep problems. A way of managing these difficulties is to learn relaxation techniques and better coping strategies. A helpful technique is a modern-day version of meditation called ‘Mindfulness’. I have found that it has helped me enormously to cope with worry and stress and also to keep me more balanced; I will introduce you to some of these techniques. However if you are suffering more severe symptoms that affect your everyday health then it is important to know what to look out for and seek help from your family doctor.
Improving your diet can also help to fight cancer and can be achieved by consuming a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This can be done whilst still allowing you to eat a variety of tasty and nutritious ‘fast’ meals. I have always eaten a reasonably healthy diet but now I eat a lot more fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. I also try and cook homemade food most of the time.
I have learned a lot by evaluating the current evidence from research studies and from my own experiences. I hope that by sharing this with you I will be able to help you too. Look after yourself xx
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