A breast cancer survivor shares her experiences with the BRCA gene.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Breast Cancer Makes You Fat

It's bad enough one has to suffer through cancer, but to add insult to injury, it can make you fat.

Jill Binkley, a physical therapist and breast cancer survivor, explains why.

Jill founded TurningPoint Women's Healthcare (http://www.myturningpoint.org/), a comprehensive rehabilitation program for breast cancer patients. It provides physical and massage therapy, as well as nutrition and exercise counseling.

“About 60 percent of women with breast cancer gain weight, which most women don’t expect…in fact, they assume they’ll lose weight,” she says.

But, due to metabolic and chemical changes from chemotherapy--plus, menopause kicking in -- the scale tips toward the upward direction for most women. Add a sizable dose of steroids to help the medicine go down and you're looking at a new dress size (or two).

A solid nutritional plan and regular exercise program -- 40 minutes per day 4-5 days per week--can help stave off unwanted pounds.

This is not only good for your wardrobe, but for your health as well--since weight gain is a risk factor for developing lymphedema and cancer recurrence.