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A majority of breast cancer survivors continue to live normal, fulfilling lives. At the same time, life after breast cancer is different in many ways. For one thing, there is no "cure" for breast cancer. Survivors know it can always come back, and must find a way to come to terms with this risk. They may also face changes to their body, such as hair loss from chemotherapy, arm swelling due to radiation, or losing a breast due to mastectomy. It takes time to grieve and accept these changes, and for some women, recovery is a lifelong process.
Breast cancer survivors might also be more cautious than the average woman about getting regular checkups, while smart lifestyle choices like a healthy diet, daily exercise, and abstinence from alcohol and cigarettes will be ever more important. These constitute considerable changes to how some women live. Others ride through the changes well, and greet their future with a renewed sense of purpose and hope.