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Keeping Well

Get Well Soon

Helping you make a speedy recovery after a mastectomy

Keeping well

Because of your operation, the chances are you’ll be a lot more aware of your body and how it works.

Right now is a really good time to build on the knowledge you’ve gained and make small changes to your lifestyle that can prevent you from experiencing certain health problems in the future. You can do this by:

  • Improving your diet – a healthy diet contains a variety of foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables, starchy foods (such as rice, pasta and potatoes) and some protein-rich foods (such as meat, fish, eggs, lentils and beans). A healthy diet is also low in fat (especially saturated fats), salt and sugar and limits alcohol consumption.
  • Any exercise – even if it’s just a few short walks each day – really will make a difference to your health.
  • Quit smoking - NHS Stop Smoking Services are one of the most effective ways to stop for good – and they’re free. Your doctor will be happy to help you.

Holidays and travel

Getting travel insurance following surgery can sometimes be difficult, so it’s best to shop around for a good deal. The Macmillan website lists a number of companies that are prepared to offer insurance.

Holidays and travel are not a problem, but it is important to delay them until your wounds are healed and any other treatment is complete; bear in mind radiotherapy and chemotherapy will impact on travel plans. Check with your breast care nurse or doctor.

If you do travel in the weeks following surgery, take sensible precautions: keep well hydrated, avoid alcohol, wear flight socks and try to keep as mobile as you can during flights.

If you are taking tamoxifen tablets as part of your treatment, these precautions are particularly important.

If you are planning a long-haul flight, take advice from your doctor or breast care nurse as you may well need to take additional precautions.

Travelling within the European Union is probably easier than elsewhere in the world, mainly because you can access any emergency treatment that you need – provided that you have a European Health Insurance Card (E111). However, it’s important to remember that this does not cover you for the cost of having to be flown home under medical supervision after emergency treatment, which is an expense you will have to cover yourself. Also, the emergency cover provided is only to a level given to the people resident in that country.

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