Breast cancer survivors have many unique sources of stress. Although it can be hard, there are healthy ways to help deal with this stress.
Social support is the emotional support, practical help, advice and other benefits you get from interactions with your co-survivors. Co-survivors may include:
Learn more about co-survivors.
Many survivors expand and strengthen their emotional support systems by joining a formal breast cancer support group. Learn more about support groups.
Breast cancer survivors who have more social support tend to cope better emotionally than survivors with little support [22-24]. However, it remains unclear whether social support can improve survival or reduce the risk of recurrence [24-31].
Learn more about the benefits of social support.
For a summary of research studies on social support and breast cancer survival, visit the Breast Cancer Research section.
For a summary of research studies on support groups and breast cancer survival, visit the Breast Cancer Research section.
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Exercise is another way to deal with daily stress and improve quality of life. Many people find regular exercise makes them feel better and stronger, and helps them regain a sense of control over their bodies [32-35]. Even simple activities (such as walking several times a week) can lower stress and anxiety .
Some studies suggest regular exercise after diagnosis with breast cancer may lower the risk of recurrence [37-39]. And, a few studies suggest it may increase survival [37-42]. These topics are still under study.
Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight and lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes .
Learn more about regular exercise and breast cancer survival.
For a summary of research studies on exercise (physical activity) and breast cancer survival, visit the Breast Cancer Research section.
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