Nutrition & Physical Activity

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Taking Care of Yourself During Treatment and Beyond

It's important for you to take very good care of yourself before, during, and after cancer treatment.

  • Taking care of yourself includes eating well and staying as active as you can.
  • Do your best to eat the right amount of calories to maintain a good weight.
  • Adequate protein can help to keep up your strength.

What if I don’t feel well enough to eat much of anything?
Eating well may actually help you feel better and have more energy. Sometimes, especially during or soon after treatment, you may not feel like eating. Some treatments can leave you feeling tired and uncomfortable. Or you may find that some foods don't taste as good as they used to.

In addition, the side effects of treatment (such as poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, or mouth blisters) can make it hard to eat well. On the other hand, some women treated for breast cancer may have a problem with weight gain.

Your doctor, a registered dietitian, or another healthcare provider can suggest ways to help you meet your nutrition needs and remain as close to a healthy weight as you can.

Is it okay to continue to exercise during breast cancer treatments?

Yes, as long as your doctor okays your physical activity. Many women find that they feel better when they stay active. Walking, yoga, swimming, and other activities can keep you strong and increase your energy. Exercise may reduce nausea and pain and make treatment easier to handle. It also can help relieve stress. Whatever physical activity you choose, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start.

Also, if your activity causes you pain or other problems, be sure to let your doctor or nurse know.

Material on this page courtesy of the National Cancer Institute