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Treatment of TNBC

Treatment
of TNBC

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Managing side effects

Managing side effects Managing side effects1,2

Many – but not all – patients experience side effects from their treatment. Some of these symptoms happen immediately or shortly after starting a treatment, but also subside or even completely go away when treatment ends. However, in some people, long-term side effects may develop and/or persist long after the treatment has ended.

Some of the common side effects from breast cancer treatments include:

It is important that you inform your doctor if you experience any side effects, so they can help you manage these. There are medications and complementary therapies that can help ease many of these symptoms.

Living with TNBC

Living with TNBC Living with TNBC1

Receiving a TNBC diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially as it is generally regarded as a more aggressive type of breast cancer, with a faster growth rate. Each person may have a different way of coping with the diagnosis, but here are a few tips that can help:

Learn about cancer.
Learn as much as possible about your cancer so you can make informed choices pertaining to your treatment plan. You can ask your attending doctor, oncology nurse or medical social worker for good sources of up-to-date information on your treatment options.

Create your support network.
Surrounding yourself with people you can count on for emotional and practical support can immensely help you cope with the challenges of living with TNBC. Let them know how you feel and what you need help with – grocery shopping, transportation, or maybe you just need someone to share a cup of tea with. Joining a support group can also provide you an avenue to share thoughts and experiences with people on the same journey as you.

Take care of your physical wellbeing.
Eat a balanced diet with fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean protein sources. Engaging in physical activities can help you maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones and improve sleep, mood and energy levels. If your treatment disrupt your normal sleep pattern, rest or take naps during the day to recharge.

Find ways to support your emotional and mental health.
Throughout your breast cancer journey, you will go through a lot of different emotions, not necessarily all negative. Try to find an activity or technique that can lift your mood or help you feel calmer, such as exercise, meditation, journaling, or picking up a new hobby. Some people also find comfort in spiritual practices. However, if you have intense or frequent feelings of depression, anxiety or distress, seek help from your attending doctor as soon as possible.

Survivorship care plan

Survivorship care plan Survivorship care plan3

After you complete your treatment – whether you’ve been declared cancer-free or are living with metastatic breast cancer – you will need a roadmap to guide you on the next steps. This may include a schedule of your follow-up check-ups, a list of other medical issues you need to look out for, screening tests you need to consider, and other living recommendations for your unique situation. You can use the survivorship care plan templates developed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to start the discussion with your doctor.

1 Tigerlily Foundation. Living with TNBC. In: Triple Negative Breast Cancer Guidebook. https://www.tigerlilyfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Tigerlily_MY_LIFE_Booklet-Proof-New_FINAL_web2.pdf [Accessed April 2023].
2 WebMD. Side Effects from Breast Cancer Treatments. https://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/treatment-side-effects [Accessed April 2023].
3 BreastCancer.org. Creating a Survivorship Care Plan. https://www.breastcancer.org/managing-life/cancer-survivorship/survivorship-care-plan [Accessed April 2023].

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