Health Tips For Breast Cancer Patients

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Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the U.S. and the second leading cause of cancer death among women. While dire, these facts show the importance of routine screening. Diet and exercise are beneficial for everyone but maybe more so for women who are currently in treatment or have completed treatment for breast cancer. Both diet and exercise may lower the risk of recurrence in breast cancer survivors. More studies are needed to show the relationship diet and exercise have in relation to improved survival rates, but the fact remains that everyone can benefit from exercise and a proper diet. 

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our telemedicine services have put together helpful tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Managing Your Weight

A healthy weight looks different for everybody. What remains the same across the board is that maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial for everybody. You can manage your weight with these steps:

  • Eat foods that are high in protein (i.e., lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, legumes, beans, and some fruits and vegetables), as protein can boost your metabolism and make you feel fuller longer.
  • Eliminate processed foods and incorporate more single-ingredient foods. For example, instead of buying a box of seasoned rice and beans, make your own using rice, dried beans and incorporate vegetables and seasonings. As you can see, all of these are single-ingredient foods.
  • Drink more water. Drinking water after meals can help increase the calories your body burns for a whole hour, while drinking water before meals may reduce calorie intake.
  • Fast intermittently, following the 5:2 or 16:8 method. You can also utilize the eat-stop-eat method, fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week. However, keep in mind that studies for the eat-stop-eat method are limited.

Should You Factor In Your BMI?

Body mass index (BMI) is your weight in kilograms divided by your square height in meters. Alternatively, you can divide your weight in pounds by your square height in inches and then multiply by 703. For individuals in the U.S., the equation will look like this:

BMI = (weight (lbs) / height (in2[squared])) x 703

A normal BMI for individuals 20 and older is 18.5 to 24.9. Anything under is considered underweight and anything over is considered overweight. A BMI of 30.0 and greater is considered obese. It is believed that those who have a BMI closer to normal will have a significantly lower risk of poor health. BMI is not the measure of body fat, but BMI and body fat are closely related.

Although it is a useful preview into one’s health, it does not include several key factors, such as the individuals:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Fat mass
  • Muscle mass
  • Bone density

As a result, many people consider BMI to be an outdated way of determining health. Nevertheless, it is useful to know as it provides a general look at the individual’s health. If you are interested in knowing yours, there are several websites where you can calculate your BMI for free.

Start Exercising

Studies indicate that there is a decreased risk of breast cancer mortality, which is why patients should incorporate exercise into their daily routines. If you don’t exercise frequently, you can start off slow. Even moderate-paced walking for three hours every week can help improve a breast cancer patient’s chance of beating the disease. When starting off slow, try to achieve at least 30 minutes of brisk walking at least five times a week. The American Cancer Society has the following recommendations for breast cancer survivors:

  • Avoid inactivity
  • Get regular physical activity
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise per week
  • Do strength training exercise at least twice a week

Some patients who exercise the recommended 150 minutes per week are more likely to see a decreased risk of breast cancer and overall mortality.

Other Ways To Stay Healthy

Everybody knows that diet and exercise are two of the three pillars to maintain a healthy lifestyle (sleeping being the third). Other ways that you can improve your health are by reducing the amount of alcohol you consume and quit smoking. It’s easier said than done, but getting healthy with friends and coworkers, or joining a support group can help you achieve a healthier lifestyle.

Before making any significant changes to your health, even if it’s for the better, talk to your oncologist and/or general practitioner first. 

Contact Call 4 Health

Our after-hours answering services is a top-rated complete communications BPO for healthcare facilities throughout the country. We can assist the medical staff at general hospitals, oncologists at a facility, or even oncology nutritionists in private practice. For telemedicine services, contact Call 4 Health. Call (855) 244-3258 to learn more about our services.