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Nutrition & Physical Activity During Breast Cancer Treatment

Good nutrition and physical activity are important for breast cancer patients. Not only can they improve your quality of life and long-term survival, but they can also help you reduce your chance of cancer recurrence and better manage side effects that are associated with the treatment.

Nutrition and Diet During Breast Cancer Treatment
On one hand, the side effects of breast cancer treatment such as poor appetite, nausea, or vomiting can sometimes make it hard for the patient to eat well. On the other hand, some women may witness weight gain. It’s important for a breast cancer patient to receive proper nutrition advice from a dietitian in order to get the nutritional needs and remain at a healthy weight. Generally, diets for breast cancer patients are higher in protein, in order to provide the body with the nutrients and energy it needs to heal after breast cancer. Fiber may also be included if the patient suffers constipation due to certain drugs, lack of fluid or long bed rest. 

Exercise During Breast Cancer Treatment
Many women find that they feel better when they stay active, so if the doctor approves it, you can keep up your exercise routine to stay strong and increase your energy. Take up yoga, aerobics, swimming or walking to improve range of motion in the arms. Physical activity may also reduce nausea and pain and make treatment easier to handle. It can also give you an emotional boost and help in relieving stress. 

Bottom line, no matter which type of breast cancer treatment you’re getting, it’s important to take care of yourself by eating well, getting enough rest, and, if possible, exercising.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian