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Sebeccly Editor

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Skin Care

Treatments for breast cancer also can affect your skin at times, leaving it dry or flaky and more sensitive to exposure to sun, wind, and other elements.

Chemotherapy and skin care

Chemotherapy can affect your skin’s natural moisture because it reduces the amount of oil your glands secrete. You can help your skin by using moisturizer more frequently, or using a heavier weight moisturizer than you did before treatment. During the day, use a product that protects your skin from the sun, blocking UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to use a gentle, moisturizing soap or cleansing cream,

Cold Caps

Cold caps — tightly fitting, strap-on hats filled with gel that’s chilled to between -15 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit — may help some women keep some or quite a bit of their hair during chemotherapy. Because the caps are so cold, they narrow the blood vessels beneath the skin of the scalp, reducing the amount of chemotherapy medicine that reaches the hair follicles. With less chemotherapy medicine in the follicles, the hair may be less likely to fall out.

During each chemotherapy session, you wear the caps for:

  • 20 to 50 minutes before
  • during
  • after

each chemotherapy session (the amount of time you wear the cap after the chemotherapy session depends on the type of chemotherapy you’re getting)

There are several brands of cold caps.

Healthy Living May Offset Genetic Breast Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, May 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Women who carry common gene variants linked to breast cancer can still cut their risk of the disease by following a healthy lifestyle, a large new study suggests.

In fact, lifestyle might be especially powerful for women at relatively high genetic risk of breast cancer, researchers found.

“Those genetic risks are not set in stone,” said senior researcher Nilanjan Chatterjee, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

The study found that four lifestyle factors were key: Maintaining a healthy weight; not smoking;

Teens Who Eat Lot of Fruits May Lower Their Breast Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 11, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Teenage girls who consume large amounts of fruit may lower their future risk for breast cancer, a new study suggests.

Conversely, women who drink more alcohol over time might increase their breast cancer risk, although they could also lower their chances of heart disease, a second report found.

In the fruit study, consumption of apples, bananas and grapes during adolescence was strongly associated with a drop in breast cancer risk. Roughly three daily servings of such fruits was linked to a 25 percent drop in risk by middle age,

Obese Fathers May Increase Daughters’ Breast Cancer Risk

A number of studies have suggested that a mother’s diet and weight in pregnancy affects the breast cancer risk of offspring. Now, new research suggests the same may ring true for fathers; being obese alters the gene expression of sperm, which may raise the risk of breast cancer for their daughters.
Obese fathers may raise their daughters’ breast cancer risk, say researchers.

It is well established that certain changes to genes can influence a woman’s breast cancer risk, and around 5-10 percent of these gene changes are inherited.

Previous studies have shown that a woman’s lifestyle factors –

Breast Cancer: Dealing With Sleep Issues

  • sleep can prove elusive when you’re going through breast cancer. From worry-induced insomnia, to disruptions in your normal routine, to menopausal side effects, there are many reasons you might be lying awake staring into the dark at 2 a.m. Looking for solutions to sleeplessness? Check out our five-part series detailing sleep issues and breast cancer. 

    Why can’t I sleep?

    While one-quarter of African report having sleep issues, studies show that up to 90% of cancer patients in active treatment have trouble sleeping. And for some, that sleeplessness ultimately stretches way beyond the end of treatment.

Weight Changes

The shock of a breast cancer diagnosis, the disruption of your life, getting through and beyond treatment, the strain of relationships at home and at work, financial stress, and less physical activity all can contribute to weight gain or loss during treatment. While it’s more common for people to gain weight during and after treatment, some people lose weight.

Gaining or losing a few pounds is normal, but a considerable weight change — say 5% to 10% of your total body weight — could have an effect on your health.

Breast cancer treatments that are associated with weight gain or loss:

Getting a Chemotherapy Infusion: Step By Step

Before starting treatment

You’ll have your first consultation with your medical oncologist (cancer doctor) and any needed follow-up visits. The oncologist will:

  • take your medical history, do a physical exam, and review all your lab tests, mammography films, and biopsy results
  • make a recommendation about which chemotherapy regimens would be best for you
  • explain the benefits and side effects of each recommended chemotherapy regimen
  • carefully review the treatment consent form with you and have you sign it
  • schedule your first treatment appointment (the timing depends on your unique situation)

On the day of treatment

On the day you get chemotherapy,

Where Will You Go For Chemotherapy?

You can receive chemotherapy in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a clinic. Chemotherapy can also be taken at home if you have a portable pump or are taking your chemo medicine as a pill. Most people are able to go home between treatments. In some cases, you may have to stay in the hospital so your doctor can monitor your health, especially if your immune system isn’t working as well as it should (doctors call this a suppressed immune system) right after your treatment. When you decide on a chemotherapy regimen, your doctor will tell you where you’ll be getting your treatment.

How Is Chemotherapy Given?

Chemotherapy medicines come in many forms and can be given in many ways:

Intravenously (IV) as a slow drip (also called an infusion) through a thin needle in a vein in your hand or lower arm. The nurse will put the needle in when each infusion begins and take it out when the infusion is done. Tell your doctor or nurse right away if you feel any pain or burning while you’re getting chemotherapy through an IV infusion.

Injection as a single shot into a muscle in your arm, leg, or hip,