Life after breast cancer: Discovering the new normal

For survivors, completing treatment and becoming cancer-free doesn’t mean their journey is over. At this year’s Komen Breast Cancer Issues Conference, Sue Best, L.C.S.W., M.S.W., of OHSU’s Palliative Care Team, will lead a panel of experts from across Oregon to answer the question: “What does the new normal look like after breast cancer?”

Here are three topics attendees can learn about at the conference:

  1. For some, the physical and mental effects from treatment can linger or become permanent. Learning how to cope with the new ways your mind and body have changed can be challenging. It’s hard to be the person you were before because of the lingering physical and emotional issues you’re dealing with. Learn new ways to alleviate common physical issues post-treatment and how to navigate through the many emotions one encounters post-treatment.
  2. It’s normal to be afraid of recurrence. Making healthy lifestyle choices and learning what works for you and your body is key to keeping yourself healthy and stress-free after treatment.
  3. Don’t assume life will go back to the way it was before diagnosis. Re-entry into everyday life is a lot more difficult than most people anticipate. A cancer diagnosis completely affects your life and the lives of your friends and family. Becoming cancer-free doesn’t erase that history. Remember that everyone copes with life after diagnosis differently – there is no right or no wrong way; it’s whatever way works best for you

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“Life After Breast Cancer: Discovering the New Normal” is scheduled as the closing session for the annual Komen Breast Cancer Issues Conference on Saturday, March 5. A limited number of registrations will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. For more information, visit the Komen Breast Cancer Issues Conference website.

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Lisa McMahan is a social media coordinator working to discover and share stories at OHSU. Got a story idea? Connect with the team:

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