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How To Cope With Chemotherapy

Depending on the stage and type of your breast malignancy, your oncologist may recommend that you undergo chemotherapy as part of your breast cancer treatment plan. Chemotherapy helps eliminate any cancerous cells that may have been left behind or that have metastasized to your lymph nodes or to other parts of your body.

While chemotherapy is often highly effective, it can cause side effects. It is one of the most important and effective treatment options that may result in long-term remission or even a cure, so it is essential that you complete your therapy. Here are some things your doctor may recommend to help you cope with your chemo. 

Appetite Boosters

Chemotherapy can suppress your appetite and because of this, you may be at risk for developing nutritional deficiencies. To enhance your appetite, your doctor may prescribe medications such as megestrol acetate. This medication has properties similar to those of the hormone known as progesterone. It helps boost the appetite and is often prescribed for those who have endometrial cancer and advanced-stage breast cancer.

It is also recommended for people who have lost weight as a result of their disease because it helps stimulate the appetite so that the person can consume more calories. Having a robust appetite during your chemotherapy treatment will help you cope better and keep you from becoming weak. While megestrol acetate is typically well-tolerated by most patients, it can produce side effects such as sleep disturbances, stomach upset, excess gas, fever, and rashes.

Psychological Counseling And Support

Not only are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery essential components of breast cancer treatment programs, psychological counseling is also important. People diagnosed with breast cancer often face challenges such as financial worries when they are unable to work, prognosis uncertainties, fear of a recurrence, anxiety, and depression.

Psychological counseling helps people cope with having a serious illness when they unable to manage their worries on their own. You can participate in counseling on your own or with your family. While your counseling sessions may be led by a mental health professional, they may also include breast cancer survivors who can further offer emotional support. 

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, talk to your oncologist about effective ways to cope with your chemotherapy. While you may face challenges during your treatment, try to remember that it is only temporary. Once you have completed it, you may have an excellent prognosis and enjoy many disease-free decades ahead of you. 

For more information about breast cancer treatment options, speak with a medical professional.