Read our blog on survivorship.
Whether you are newly diagnosed, a long-term survivor or still in active treatment, breast cancer can affect how you feel inside and out.
You have to cope with the emotional strain of the diagnosis and the challenges of treatment, as well as the stresses of everyday life.
Even though your diagnosis may be similar to another person’s, the way breast cancer impacts your life is unique.
“Quality of life” describes your overall well-being, including:
Non-health related issues (such as financial concerns) are also part of quality of life.
Managing side effects and other issues that have a negative impact on your quality of life is an important part of breast cancer care.
Although most breast cancer survivors report a good quality of life, you may have some long-term side effects from treatment [10-11]. These may include hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, fatigue, chronic breast pain, lymphedema and a loss of sex drive.
It can be hard to plan for or cope with side effects since they vary from person to person.
However, there are things you can do to ease some symptoms.
Researchers are looking at ways breast cancer survivors can improve quality of life long-term.
For example, exercise may improve mood, fatigue and social well-being in survivors [12-14].
Social support may also improve quality of life for breast cancer survivors [15-16].
Learn more about the benefits of exercise and social support.
Although breast cancer often has a negative impact on quality of life, it may also trigger a positive change in your outlook .
You may have a stronger sense of spirituality or faith and a more hopeful view that may increase pleasure in life .
Being a survivor puts you in a unique position to help others affected by breast cancer.
After treatment ends, there are many ways you can be a part of the breast cancer cause through research, community work or advocacy efforts.
Whether you enroll in a study, serve as an advisor or volunteer for an advocacy group, you can make a difference.
Learn more about getting involved in these efforts.
Discover the different ways you can help
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