Moving on ABC After Breast Cancer

Breast cancer often takes an enormous toll on a woman’s physical and emotional well-being and will in most cases be proportional to the extent of her treatment. What happens next, to a large degree, depends on our approach to the after-effects of cancer. We can try and forget it all, put it behind us, or we can embrace what has happened, accept it and move forward in a more focused and considered way. 

You may think why bother? However the fact is, having had cancer, it is in our own best interest to try and improve our diet, lifestyle and environment. Increasing evidence shows that by making such changes, our risk of a breast cancer recurrence should be reduced. Healthy lifestyle choices can also help us to feel better both physically and emotionally right now.

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In this book I explore my own experience of breast cancer, and offer practical advice and support by looking at some of the difficulties and decision making processes I have been through myself. I have struggled with a number of side effects of hormonal treatment and am aware that many women stop taking their prescribed medications because of them. Instead of giving up on these proven life-saving treatments, I will suggest ways that may help you to cope with some of the potential side effects. 

Fatigue after cancer and its treatment affects just about everyone to some degree. I anticipated that it would probably take a few months after completing my treatment to make a full recovery. To my dismay even six months later I was not back to full health and I still tired easily. I learnt after much trial and error that this 'cancer-related fatigue' has many similarities to chronic fatigue syndrome and can be managed in a similar way by planning, prioritising and pacing your jobs and activities. 

As well as fatigue, symptoms of low mood and anxiety are commonplace in breast cancer survivors. These problems can have secondary effects such as a lack of concentration, poor motivation and sleep problems
A way of managing these difficulties is to learn relaxation techniques and better coping strategies. A helpful technique is a modern-day version of meditation called 'Mindfulness'. 

I would like to introduce you to the concept of mindfulness since I have personally found that it has helped me enormously to cope with worry and stress and also to keep me more balanced. However, if you are suffering with more severe symptoms that are affecting your everyday health, then it is important to know what to look out for and seek help from your family doctor. 

We can also gain many health benefits by avoiding certain foods, not smoking, not consuming too much alcohol and reducing our exposure to environmental toxins. 

However, this book certainly isn't all about what not to do. It is also about the things we can introduce into our diet and about making other positive changes to our lifestyle that arm us with further anti-cancer and immunity boosting properties. 

Eating food with optimal nutritional benefits helps to boost our energy levels as well as helping us to maintain a healthy weight. Improving your diet can also help to fight cancer and this can be done whilst still allowing you to eat a variety of tasty and nutritious 'fast' meals. In particular this can be achieved by consuming a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I have always eaten a reasonably healthy diet but now I eat a lot more fresh fruit, vegetables, raw foods (salads, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds) and healthy fats. I also try and cook homemade food most of the time. 

Through ongoing research and a number of treatment breakthroughs in the last 30 years, breast cancer survival thankfully has improved greatly. However, I am sure that there is even more we can do to help ourselves. I have learnt a lot by evaluating the current evidence from research studies and also from my own experiences. I hope that by sharing what I have learnt I will be able to help you too. 


This term is most commonly used when discussing the use of drugs to reduce cancer risk. However, it can also be used with regards to our diet and environment. Let us see breast cancer survival rates improve even further and be the ones to lead this change and make it a reality. This will involve us remaining vigilant and leading a healthier lifestyle for our mind, body and soul. 

Look after yourself . xx

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