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Of all cancer types that affect the female population, breast cancer is the most common one. Statistics show that above 1 in 8 women in the USA are likely to develop breast cancer (invasive type, which is often severe). Changing lifestyles including prolonged use of birth control, smoking, alcohol abuse, lack of physical activity, dietary changes, etc., have led to an increased incidence. As these are here to stay, the only way is to prevent.
The likelihood of developing breast cancer is determined by risk factors. Some of these risk factors cannot be changed. For instance, age, ethnicity, and history of familial breast cancer. However, there are others, which can be acted upon or modified to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer.
Some of the preventable risk factors are as follows:
- Nicotine abuse: Quitting smoking has multiple benefits for a woman, and one major benefit is the reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Other benefits include reduced incidence of diabetes, heart disease, and other cancers.
- Hormone replacement therapy: To the extent possible, avoid prolonged use of birth control pills or hormones for other treatment purposes. In addition to using non-hormonal methods, if not avoidable, constantly monitoring hormone levels is very important. Birth control pills should especially be avoided by women over 35 years of age who smoke. The risk associated with developing cancer reduces as soon as the hormone supplement is stopped.
- Weight Management: One of the major risk factors is obesity, and in people with other non-alterable risk factors, it is best to work on weight management from an early age. Talk to your doctor about your ideal BMI and ensure this is maintained.
- Physical Activity: Regular physical activity, at least 30 minutes per day, in addition to strength training will help in keeping the body agile and managing weight. It also reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Breastfeeding: Studies have shown that breastfeeding has protective effect against breast cancer; longer a baby is breast fed, greater is the protective benefit.
- Screening: Even if not completely preventable, early detection of breast cancer is very important. This will help in less severe treatment and better prognosis. Recommended ages for mammography are as follows:
- In the age of 40 to 44, an annual mammogram is advised along with a discussion with the doctor on the risks.
- An annual mammogram for all women in the age of 45 – 54 is important as most women enter menopause by this time. This needs to be continued annually, as self-breast exams alone cannot detect cancer, thus it is a good practice and anything abnormal will not go undetected.
- These will help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, help in early detection, and improve prognosis.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Maintaining a nutritious diet is always a necessity and the need is more so during breast cancer treatment. Cancer being a dreadful disease, the treatment procedures put a lot of stress on any person. As it is, a person affected by cancer tends to become weak and add to that the rigorous methods of treatment. As these aspects make one thing clear from a patient’s perspective, which is to have a balanced, healthy and nutritious diet during treatment. Only then will the body have necessary strength to heal itself completely after getting treated. Good nutrition would help women to stay strong and feel good. Each cancer patient would have unique nutritional needs as per their weight, extent of the disease and their ability to intake food.
Benefits Of Good Nutrition During Breast Cancer Treatment
- There are quite a number of benefits to maintain good nutrition during cancer treatment. Some of them are detailed below:
- Cancer makes you weak, hence intake of good nutritious food enables you to combat fatigue.
- Helps to maintain your body’s store of nutrients and your weight. It ensures that you don’t lose weight due to weakness.
- Good nutrition would result in decreasing the risk of getting infected and also allow you recover faster.
What type of diet should you follow?
Now we take a look at the nutritious diet, which cancer patients must ensure to take during cancer treatment:
- Eat less but have frequent meals throughout the day: Avoid eating too much as weight gain would be a menace in this phase. So, eat small meals frequently and that would ensure your body is getting the required protein, calories and nutrients to tolerate treatment. This would also help in reducing the side-effects related to the treatment, such as nausea.
- Take protein-rich foods: Taking foods which are rich in protein, is a necessity as protein allows the body to repair tissues and cells. Protein also helps in building immunity. So, take items like chicken, fish, eggs, low fat dairy products in the form of milk, cheese, yogurt, nuts, beans, soyabeans. These would give you the strength to bear treatment.
- Eat a whole lot of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables should be there in your diet as they provide antioxidants to the body, which can be of great help in fighting cancer. For patients, who are going through treatment and have weak immune system, fresh fruits and vegetables should be cooked and include them in their daily diet.
- Drink water: It’s important for patients to drink enough water during treatment so that there is no chance of getting dehydrates. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided.
- Go for sources of healthy fat: Fried, fatty and greasy foods should be completely avoided at all costs. Rather, choose boiled, baked or grilled foods. Healthy fats would include:
- Olive oil
- Intake of sweets should be limited: Sweets should be kept away from the diet of a cancer patient receiving treatment. Along with it, avoid items having high content of added sugar.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
I am 46 year old I have slip discs problem in l-4, l-5 it is curebel? and what should I do to get my self cure in this regards.
I have taken MRI cervical spine .I have disc BULGES in C3-C4, C4-C5 and L5-S1. Please explain what might be the problem. This BULGES gives which type of problems. Please help me.
I suffered from L2 L3 PIVD (slip disc) since last month. I took medical treatment in KEM Hospital for 15 days. I complete there Medicine Course but still I have a pain in my hips. When I try to wake up from bed or try to seat I feel pain in my hips and legs. From current medical treatment I feel only 70% recovery still I have a problem for walking I feel weakness in my both leg muscles. KEM Hospital Doctor suggested me Complete Bed Rest and I take also. But still I don't feel progress more than 70%. What should I do?
MY WIFE RECENTLY HAD A CT SCAN & THE IMPRESSIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS: * Bilateral vocal cord palsy (more prominent on left side) * Few enlarged left supraclavicular lymph nodes * ~3 x 2 cm irregular mass in medial aspect of right upper lobe of lung, infiltrating the mediastinal pleura-suggestive of malignancy (metastases - known carcinoma of left breast) * I11 defined soft tissue rind measuring ~1 cm in thickness in superior mediastinum, encasing the mediastinal structures- suggestive of malignancy (spread from pleura / metastatic lymphodes) * ~2 cm right perihilar mediastinal lesion. * Multiple nodules measuring about 2 mm to 5 mm in both lungs- suggestive of metastases. * Moderate pericardial effusion. * Thin layer of left pleural effusion. I KNOW IT IS RELATED TO CANCER, BUT I WANT TO KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TYPE OF CANCER IT IS & WHAT IS THE SURVIVAL CHANCE (PERIOD) FOR PATIENT TAKING TREATMENT & PATIENT NOT TAKING ANY TREATMENT. KINDLY GIVE YOUR VALUABLE SUGGESTION. Thanks & Regards
Dear sir. My mother is suffering from pain in waist and legs unable to stand for sometime and unable to walk due to L5 L6 displaced and make pressure on nerve. I don't want to operate for this . Is any other solution.
Are you prone to Slipped disc problem? + the ideal way to treat it.
A slipped disc, also known as a prolapsed disc or herniated disc, is the term given to the phenomenon that occurs when a cartilaginous disc found between the vertebrae in the spine becomes slightly displaced or protrudes, thereby pressing on the nerves in the adjacent areas and causing back pain.
This happens when the soft inner part of the disc, known as nucleus pulposus, bulges out through a weakness in the exterior part of the disc. A prolapsed disc usually occurs in the lower region of the spine and can be of varying sizes. There might even be the development of inflammation around the disc in some cases.
Who is likely to get affected?
Most cases of herniated disc occur in patients between the ages of 30 and 50. The number of men affected is twice as many as the number of women. Although the root cause of this problem is not yet known, there are a number of factors that may trigger it. These factors include working at a job that requires a lot of lifting, an occupation that involves remaining in a seated position for a long time, weight-bearing sports, obesity, smoking habits and increasing age.
Effective ways of treating the problem
The different methods that are commonly used to treat the problem are:
- Medications - There are many different kinds of medicines that are effective in providing relief. These include painkillers, muscles relaxants, anti-inflammatory pills, etc.
- Spinal (Epidural) injections - A number of spinal injections are used to treat slipped discs. The injection is done in operation theatre under X-Ray imaging to find exact level of disc bulge. The injection consists of drug mixture of local anaesthetic and steroid. The injection is done at the opening where the inflamed nerve roots are found and reduces pain, swelling and irritation in the area.
- Radiofrequency ablation - This procedure makes use of an electrical current produced by radio waves to reduced pain and sensitivity in the affected area.
- Ozone discectomy - As opposed to the surgical removal of the prolapsed disc, this new process makes use of an ozone-oxygen mixture that is injected into the spine to treat the problem. Many international studies have proved its superiority to traditional methods and surgeries.
Those affected by this problem are advised to keep exercising and continuing with their everyday activities as best as possible. After any of the above treatment methods a regular spine and core strengthening regime is to be followed. Immediate surgical intervention may be needed in acute cases of disc prolapse causing nerve compression with neurological deficits like leg weakness or loss of control over urine and stools. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pain management specialist.