When the doctor tells him that Shakita Este is in total disbelief Breast Cancer. “I’ve absolutely lost it,” Estes says. “I remember falling on the floor just to tell him that I had heard what he was saying, that could not be true.”

Estes, a 45-year-old pediatrician nurse from Palmetto, GA, says she was caught off guard because she has none family history Of Cancer Except grandpa prostate cancer. While a family history of cancer is a risk factor, cancer can still occur if it does not run in your family. Most women with breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease.

As a Health care The medical instinct of the activist, Estes, pushed him in what felt like a Mastitis Breast pain, clogged milk ducts when you may Feeding The Beast, outside investigation. “I knew I didn’t have mastitis because I wasn’t [breast]Feeding. “

In September 2018, Estes was diagnosed Invasive ductal carcinoma, A common type of Breast Cancer That milk starts in the ducts. It makes up 80% of all breast cancer cases.

A range of emotions

Like life changing diagnosis breast Cancer can dig a lot of emotions. It is not uncommon depression, anxiety, Uncertainty, fear, loneliness, and body image Issues, among others. In fact, about 1 to 4 people with any type of cancer may be predominant or Clinical depression And its treatment will benefit. One day you’re just going about your life and the next minute, you’re scrambling to get tests and scans as you try to make complex medical information and understanding of your rapidly changing reality.

After receiving a clinical diagnosis, some women may feel a “significant crisis”, says Kathleen Ashton, Clinical Health Psychologist Breast Center, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at Cleveland Clinic. “They cannot know what the next steps are.”

The term “cancer” itself may be a concern for many women, Ashton says. Apprehensions may include treatment costs, concerns about anxiety and uncertainty about how it will affect your life or even your mortality, how cancer can change your physical body, and how it can affect your loved one’s life. Can affect

After diagnosis, you will see your doctor to go on a treatment plan based on the type and degree of cancer. Ashton says it is easy to feel “overwhelmed”, as it has many steps and lots of information to take. It is good to have a support person to help you through this and pay attention to what has been said.

“I really recommend that patients focus on one stage of the plan at a time and remain flexible because sometimes the plan changes because you get more information at each stage,” says Ashton. This can help you feel less anxious.

Issues related to physical change

Treatment of breast cancer like Chemotherapy, Radiation, Or surgery can cause a lot of physical changes. Depending on the type of treatment you have, surgical breast tissue removal or reconstruction may result in scars. You can lose child Through chemotherapy. Some people with breast cancer may also have weight gain And go through early menopause. These physical changes can bring issues with self-image and confidence.

For Este, lose her child There was a big point of concern. “In African American culture … it’s really our crown, our strength. Who we are,” says Estes. “I was so proud and happy with my hair.” Once Estes started losing hair, So he said he decided to embrace it. “I settled down and shut it down completely.”

Snehal Pandey was also very strong with her hair. “The only thing I thought about was, ‘I don’t want to lose my hair.” It’s like your hair, your breast – it’s a reflection of who we are as women. “

Pandey, a 37-year-old Indian expatriate living in Singapore, gave birth to their son in April 2020. Three months later, like Estes, he felt a lump, which emerged as stage IV cancer.

During chemo, she chose a cooling cap to reduce hair fall. The cap that is worn before, during and after each treatment is designed to circulate a cool liquid around your head. Cold temperatures can prevent chemo from damaging your hair follicles.

Pandey says, “Right now I have about 60% -70% hair. Research on cooling caps has been mixed, with new variants of these caps yielding better results, some of which have FDA clearance. There are some theoretical questions about whether cold temperatures may cause some cancer cells to stick to the skull, but there is no indication of safety problems in the studies so far. If you are thinking about adding a cooling cap, ask your doctor about them and what they should see. And check if your Insurance Covers the cost of the cap.

Dealing with uncertainty

For Shyla Vishloff, a sudden sense of uncertainty was troubling. “I felt that I had such control of my life. I am always the girl who had a planner of the year. I planned my vacation 6 months down the road. I had a 5-year plan, and I was doing it. “

Vishloff, now 25, when she was 24 Diagnosis of breast cancer. She had finished nursing school in Alberta, Canada and was talking about buying a home, getting married and having children. One day, while applying lotion after a shower, she felt a lump in her breast. “Having my nursing background, I was like, ‘Well, this is not good.”

Doctors assured her that it is very rare for someone in their 20s to have breast cancer. Studies show that only 5% of all breast cancers occur in people under 40; Breast cancer is most often diagnosed in women 50 years of age and older. But Vishloff’s Biopsy Led to the diagnosis of an aggressive form of Stage II breast cancer. “I figured I could beat it,” Vishloff says.

After 6 months of chemotherapy she says that did not really work, Vishloff underwent surgery to remove both breasts – a double breast – After reconstructive surgery. Vishloff underwent radiation treatment to try to kill any remaining cancer cells. She recalls that the latter had “no evidence of illness”.

But a few months later, bad news came. Vishloff says that a follow-up CT scan Showed him many tumors The lungs And breast. It was Stage IV breast cancer, Which can be treated but not cured. Vishloff says that in October 2020, his doctors estimated that he had about a year to live. “It’s just such a shock. The only way to say this is that it seems like the whole world is crushing on you, ”she says.

It took a while to get along with all this. “I don’t think so far in the future and am very worried about it,” Vishloff says. “I know now – today – I’m fine.” Today i am happy Today, I can live a good day. ”

Getting support

Undergoing breast cancer and its treatment can make you physically and emotionally tired. Can be a comfort for family and friends acting as a support system.

Este feels lucky to have family members nearby. But it is her best friend who really helps her raise her when she needs to. They call themselves Ta Group.

“He’s five of my best friends,” she says. “We’ll just get together and pray.” I’ll go to my prayer cell – I call it my war room. If I need to talk, I will talk to them. ”

Professional Treatment Can also help. Check with you Health care Team if you want a referral. “I think my counselor really helped me deal with everything, all my trauma … and how to deal with them,” says Ponds.

Talking and building relationships with people who are going through breast cancer can help you understand and feel less alone. You can find support groups on social media sites like Facebook and you can join local organizations.

You can also talk to a social worker or your counselor for more resources. When you’re searching for a community, Ashton notes that listening to people’s stories or reading several negative posts online may make you more anxious. Her advice: Pay attention to what is helping you.

Ashton says, “Women with breast cancer come to their diagnosis with many strengths, and it is important to use those powers to help you on your journey.”

Self-care and relaxation techniques

Diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer demands a lot from you and your body. You attribute this to giving yourself time – even a few moments every moment – to relax and take care of yourself.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Total And note
    . May help reduce these mindfulness practices Fatigue And Tension. Some kind of Do exercise Is also a good outlet for Tension.
  • go for walks. “This may be the worst day of my life, and then I go out for a walk. Vishloff says that the only thing I know 100% will change my mood.
  • imagination. Many people suffering from cancer can help with visualization exercises Pain management And stress. To get started, close yourself Eyes And think of a happy image in your mind. You can also think of any activity you like and wander your mind. This can make you feel calm.



Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC),” “Yoga and Meditation”.

American Cancer Society: “How does the Recovery to Recovery® program support people experiencing breast cancer?” “Depression,” “cooling caps (scalp hypothermia) to reduce hair fall.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Breast Cancer in Young Women.”

Mayo Clinic: “Mastectomy.”

National Cancer Institute: “Learning to Relax.”

Kathleen Ashton, PhD, Clinical Health Psychologist, Breast Center, Digestive Diseases and Surgery Institute, Cleveland Clinic.

Shakita Aces, Palmetto, GA.

Shaila Vishloff, Alberta, Canada.

Snehal Ponde, Singapore.

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