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Lymphedema And Breast Cancer In Women

Take Care Of Yourself

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© American Cancer Society 2010

Taking care of your whole body is important. Eat well and get to and stay at a healthy weight. Try to eat 5 or more servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Choose whole-grain foods instead of white flour and sugars. Try to limit meats that are high in fat. Cut back on processed meats like hot dogs, bologna, and bacon. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to 1 or 2 drinks a day at the most. And don't forget to get some type of regular exercise. A good diet and regular exercise can help you stay at a healthy weight and give you more energy. Try to reduce the stress in your life and get enough sleep, too.

You also need people you can turn to for strength and comfort. Support can come in many forms: family, friends, cancer support groups, church or spiritual groups, online support communities, or one-on-one counselors. You may want to get support from others with lymphedema. It helps to talk to people who understand what you're going through. Call American Cancer Society offsite link at 800.ACS.2345 or contact the National Lymphedema Network (see the "Additional Resources" section below) to find support groups in  your area. 

You can't change the fact that you have lymphedema. What you can change is how you live your life -- taking good care of yourself, making healthy choices, and doing what you can to make your body and your mind feel as good as possible.

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