Most of the more than 232,000 cases of breast cancer that will be diagnosed in the United States this year are not due to a faulty gene passed down through families. As with most other cancers, they happen because of genetic mutations that happen as we age.
But about 15% of women with breast cancer have at least one relative who has also had the disease, and 5% to 10% have specific inherited mutations in one of two genes that have been linked to breast cancer, known as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
Breast cancer treatment may make you feel not hungry, which can make it hard to get the nutrition you need. Try these tips to make sure you’re eating a healthy diet:
Eat a few small meals during the day instead of three large ones.
Try an "instant breakfast" mix or other nutritional shakes between meals.
Eat your largest meal of the day when you are most hungry.
Drink water or other beverages either a half hour before or after meals so they don’t make you too full.
Try moderate exercise to increase your appetite, as long as your doctor says it’s OK.
Nausea and Vomiting
Some -- but not all -- people getting cancer treatment will have nausea. It can happen right after treatment or a few days later. Ask your doctor about medications that can make you feel better. Also, keep track of when you’re nauseated. You may be able to spot patterns that can help you get ahead of the problem. Also:
Eat small meals more often and avoid greasy foods and citrus.
Try foods at room temperature instead of very hot or cold.
When you’re nauseated, try bland foods like crackers, gelatin, ice chips, rice, plain mashed potatoes, or applesauce.
Call your doctor if you have severe nausea or you’re vomiting a lot. If you throw up, wait an hour before you eat or drink anything. Then, begin with ice chips and gradually add foods. Chamomile, ginger roottea, or ginger ale can sometimes help settle your stomach.