Recover Living Life After Treatment Quality of Life
Taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally after breast cancer treatment is just as important, if not more so, than it was while you were going through treatment. Doing this contributes to your “quality of life,” which is a measure of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Your quality of life is your ability to enjoy all that life has to offer. As a breast cancer survivor you have a “new lease on life” and may experience a renewed sense of self that lets you live a life full of meaning and purpose.
Perhaps now you are more deliberate when choosing how you manage your health, what you want to do with your time and how you live your life. This all gives a sense of purpose and meaning to your life, something different than before your diagnosis.
After breast cancer treatment, any long-term effects or aftereffects that you experience, such as menopause, fatigue, joint pain and intimacy challenges, might influence your quality of life. It is difficult to anticipate what you will encounter as a breast cancer survivor. Once you have a better understanding of the impact of breast cancer on you and your life, you can devise your breast cancer recovery health and wellness plan.
Carrying out your breast cancer recovery health and wellness plan successfully will help you overcome the aftereffects of treatment and enhance your quality of life. It will also help direct you along a path of living an integrated health and wellness lifestyle so that you can recover, restore and reenergize yourself and your life after treatment.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has created guidelines aimed at improving quality of life among cancer survivors. ACS recommends doing three things: Engaging in physical activity, eating five servings a day of fruit and vegetables and stopping smoking.
In the ACS study, researchers looked for an association between the three recommendations and quality of life. The analysis showed that survivors who met the lifestyle recommendations, particularly engaging in physical activity, achieved a higher quality of life.
In addition, a study conducted by the International Journal of Medical Sciences notes that there is a strong correlation between quality of life in breast cancer survivors and physical exercise.
Therefore, incorporating nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle habits into your daily routine after breast cancer treatment is vital to your quality of life.
The following resources provide detailed information to help you learn more about how to enhance your quality of life:
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center Publication: Quality of Life Breast Cancer Instrument
Mayo Clinic: Cancer survivors: Care for your body after treatment
American Cancer Society: Lifestyle Changes To Consider During And After Treatment
Breast Cancer Survivors Report High Quality of Life After Treatment
Cancer Survivors’ Adherence to Lifestyle Behavior Recommendations and Associations With Health-Related Quality of Life: Results From the American Cancer Society's SCS-II
For more information on quality of life, go to Resources. You can share your knowledge and experience with other survivors at Survivor Tips or start a discussion in our Partner Forum.