Tag: breast cancer

Can Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Cancer?

Research is now indicating that exercise can reduce your risk of cancer.

With the advent of TV, computers, and a more sedentary lifestyle, getting exercise has become a planned activity.  Gone are the days when physical activity was a part of daily life.  So, how does one get active again?  Here are some easy ways to get started.

  1. Walk – get out the door and walk around your block.  Find a park and enjoy the trails.  Start with 10 minutes at a reasonable pace.  Build up until you can walk 30 minutes, then one hour.
  2. Dance – go dancing – find a club or ballroom class or join a dance exercise class at a local community hall.  Or just turn on the music and dance at home.  Try it with your kids.
  3. Cycle – get a bike and instead of taking the car to the store, ride your bike.  Find a partner or group of friends and go for a bike hike.
  4. Buddy Up – it is easier to stick to a program with a buddy.  On the days when you don’t feel motivated, a partner will get you going.  Plus, it’s more fun.

Start your exercise program today.  For those who have had cancer surgery, especially breast cancer, one of the side effects is lymphedema.  There is exercise for lymphedema that will reduce the risk – and the movements will be safe and fun for all individuals because they are designed from a safety and therapeutic perspective.

Feel Sexy in a Mastectomy Bra Nightgown

Feeling good about oneself after a mastectomy, especially in intimate situations, can be a challenge.  Finding something to wear that makes one feel whole, sexy, and beautiful can be difficult.  However, there are options out there for nightgowns that have mastectomy bras as part of the garment.  And, they are truly gorgeous – feminine and practical at the same time.

Life inside doesn’t change, even though the image on the outside might be modified.  We all still need to feel that we are attractive, not only for our own self-esteem, but also for our significant other.  Attitude makes a huge difference.  Your attitude can take a huge lift by finding the right garment for those special moments.

Easy Exercise for Lymphedema

When going through surgery for breast cancer, lymph nodes under the arm are often removed.  This removal will forever impede the flow of lymph fluid in this area as lymph nodes do not grow back.

Exercise for lymphedema risk reduction is important.  The following simple exercises, when done prior to strenuous physical activity, open the lymphatic drains and allow for proper lymph drainage; thereby greatly reducing the risk of lymphedema.

1. Blow bubbles – just like when you were a kid – facilitates deep belly breathing.

2. Head – move forward and back (not past center), tilt to the side, turn right and left, and modified head rolls (just a big smile on your chest – no taking the head back of center).

3. Shoulders – up and down, shoulder rolls

4. Arm circles – across the body (both ways) and at your side (frontwards and backwards).

All the above exercises are much more fun done with music.  Make sure you do them slowly and smoothly.

Have fun – get moving – exercise is highly recommended for cancer recovery.

After the Mastectomy – What to Wear?

Nowadays, women are sent home from the hospital very soon after their operation.  This entails having the drains still in place as well as bandages.   So how do you manage the drains, etc.?  It can be very cumbersome, not to mention awkward socially if you are feeling well enough to be out and about.

There are several options now available.  With a mastectomy camisole, you will find a convenient and discreet system for your drains, room for the bandages, plus the ability to use the mastectomy camisole after the drains are removed.  They come with breast forms, soft fabric which is important around the surgery site, and styles to make them easy to put on when range of motion is an issue.

You can forgo the functional T-shirt look along with the safety pin fix for a more comfortable, fashionable, compact choice.   Just looking “normal” will make you feel better.

Healing Gemstones Add Flair Plus Function During Cancer

Healing Necklace

Much has been said about healing energy and how it is used in several complementary therapies.   Think about Reiki, Healing Touch, Acupuncture, BodyTalk, etc.   Not everyone is aware that gemstones have healing components.  Some people carry these healing gemstones and/or crystals in a pouch.  Others wear them in fashion jewellery to not only make a statement, but also to derive the benefit from the gems themselves.

Gems that are noted for healing are agate, garnet, jasper (red), peridot, and turquoise.  Look for combinations of gems that will create whatever you need in your life at the moment.

It could be energy as we all know that fatigue is one of the side effects of cancer treatment.  Other options are deflecting negative energy, opening blockages, hightening spirituality, creating calmness and peace.  It is fun learning about the different attributes of these beautiful gems.  Plus who wouldn’t feel great wearing healing gemstones that are absolutely stunning.  What a conversation piece!

Mastectomy Camisoles for Fashion

Who would have thought wearing mastectomy camisoles and bras could be stylish and fashionable.  This is probably one of the reasons a lot of women opt for breast reconstruction – to be able to wear clothes without the consideration of their new image.  But, breast reconstruction isn’t for everyone.  Those who have had a mastectomy can still find comfort and style in a variety of mastectomy garments available.

Some are meant to wear under clothes, such as the bras and some of the camisoles.  However, there are camisoles that can also be worn in place of a bra, look stylish and presentable with or without a covering top, and in the summer, this is a bonus.  When it gets hot and humid outside, wearing less is cooler.  Thank heavens for options.

NIGHT SWEATS AND SUMMER – A SOLUTION

Summer is upon us in most of the country.  Those of us who are menopausal or in the midst of chemotherapy and/or radiation, night sweats are more burdensome with the heat.  Sleep is interrupted due to alternating sweating and chilling.

To find more comfort, check out the many styles of night sweat pajamas and nightwear made out of wicking fabric.  It won’t stop the night sweats, but it will wick the sweat from your body into the fabric so you aren’t drenched and chilled during the night.

Sleep might not be so elusive at a time when we need our sleep for good health and mental wellness.  To a good night’s sleep!

Lymphedema and Cancer: What is It?

Lymphedema is still not widely understood or acknowledged as a risk of cancer, especially breast cancer.  There are guidelines for prevention if known beforehand.  The sad thing is that once a person gets lymphedema, there is no cure.  So, prevention is key.

So, what is Lymphedema.  Here is an excellent video explaining exactly what lymphedema is.

A verbal definition of lymphedema, as stated by the National Lymphedema Network, is:

“Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the interstitial tissue that causes swelling, most often in the arm(s) and/or leg(s), and occasionally in other parts of the body. Lymphedema can develop when lymphatic vessels are missing or impaired (primary), or when lymph vessels are damaged or lymph nodes removed (secondary).

When the impairment becomes so great that the lymphatic fluid exceeds the lymphatic transport capacity, an abnormal amount of protein-rich fluid collects in the tissues of the affected area. Left untreated, this stagnant, protein-rich fluid not only causes tissue channels to increase in size and number, but also reduces oxygen availability in the transport system, interferes with wound healing, and provides a culture medium for bacteria that can result in lymphangitis (infection).”

Lymphedema can occur in the upper and lower extremities (arms and legs – and even torso).  You are at risk if you have had surgery for cancer that involves removal of lymph nodes.  For more detailed information, read the following books about Lymphedema.

Over the next few posts, I will be covering some the issues related to lymphedema and cancer.

Be informed,

Barbara