Some individuals panic the moment they feel an unusual change in the area under their arms or in their breast. Their first instinct is to worry. That is not good, however, because worrying only causes stress which can snowball into all kinds of physical and mental maladies. Therefore, the first useful tip in your journey through breast cancer treatment is to simply take a deep breath and don’t panic. Instead, take comfort in knowing that most lumps are not breast cancer. That is the case about eighty percent of the time. Some lumps in younger women can even be attributed to their menstrual periods.
These lumps often disappear as soon as their cycle ends. Meanwhile, other lumps known as benign breast conditions simply vanish on their own. Examples of these benign breast conditions are fibroadenoma or a cyst. You should take comfort in knowing that but don’t take the harsh reality of finding a lump under your arm or breast lightly. Always err on the side of caution. Failing to do so can be a deadly mistake. Therefore, always make sure to visit your health care provider as soon as possible the moment you feel an unusual change in the area under your arms or in your breasts.
Make Your Mental Health A Priority
Much of the cancer experience is mental. You would be well advised to spend time doing research online so that you can find a good website that will help you prepare for the mental impact of your breast cancer treatment. Realize that emotional trauma is a normal part of the journey through breast cancer treatment. Whatever you do, do not let feelings of anger, anxiety, fear, grief, helplessness, and sadness consume you. The mental impact of being diagnosed with breast cancer can be just as debilitating as the physical symptoms caused by treatments such as chemotherapy.
By educating yourself about breast cancer you can empower yourself to realize that you are not alone in the feelings that you are having. If the mental toll on your psyche is overwhelming, seek a mental health professional with experience in cancer patients to help you through the breast cancer treatment journey.
What if you Don’t Have a Health Care Provider or Insurance?
If you don’t have a private doctor or family physician, again, don’t panic, instead, make sure to call your health department immediately and don’t be afraid to ask for help. If that doesn’t work, call a clinic or a nearby hospital. If that fails, get a referral from a trusted family member or friend who may know of a good Samaritan that can help you pay for the treatment.
Use the local library as a resource to go online and use the internet to find breast cancer charities. Planned Parenthood may also be able to provide you with some useful resources to help get you through the breast cancer treatment journey. Don’t take no for an answer and never give up until you get the treatment you need so that you can be a breast cancer survivor rather than a statistic.
What if You Are Diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
If after visiting a healthcare practitioner you are diagnosed with breast cancer, a useful tip for women with large breasts or smaller cancers would be to ask the doctor if they are a viable candidate for a minimally invasive lumpectomy. This is because a breast cancer lumpectomy preserves breast tissue. A breast cancer lumpectomy also may largely avoid any need for breast reconstruction. The surgery is done cosmetically by using incisions in discreet places, to remove the tumor, along with additional surrounding tissue, that is removed to ensure the elimination of all breast cancer cells. This procedure results in minimal scarring.
Prepare a Chemotherapy Suitcase
Finally, if your only available option is chemotherapy you will need to prepare what some call a ‘chemo bag’, which you should fill with items that will help you feel more at ease as you travel through the long and exhausting journey of breast cancer treatment. To maximize the side effect management of chemotherapy, make sure to pack items that will entertain and comfort you, such as a favorite book, music, handheld computer games, or a deck of cards so that you can play solitaire or poker with friends who visit you during the process. Ultimately, there is no denying that the breast cancer treatment journey is no picnic in wonderland but take comfort in knowing that, like all journeys, this too shall end.