Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments
Side Effects of Treatments
It is hard to protect healthy cells from the harmful effects of breast cancer treatments. Because treatment
does damage healthy cells and tissues, it causes side effects. The side effects of cancer treatment
depend mainly on the type and extent of the treatment. Additionally, the results may vary from one treatment
to the next and may not be the same for every person. The management of side effects is a crucial component
of the therapy strategy.
Physical examinations, blood tests, and other tests are used to closely monitor how the patient is responding
to treatment. Doctors and nurses can offer advice on how to handle issues that might arise during and after
treatment in addition to explaining any potential negative effects of the proposed course of action.. The NCI
provides helpful, informative booklets about breast cancer treatments and
coping with side effects.
Breast Cancer Surgery
Surgery for breast cancer causes short-term pain and tenderness in
the area of the operation, so women may need to talk with their doctor about pain management.
Any type of surgery has the danger of infection, inadequate wound healing, bleeding, or an adverse
reaction to the anaesthetic used. Women who suffer any of these issues should speak with their physician
or nurse as soon as possible..
A woman's weight may become unbalanced after having a breast removed, especially if she has enormous breasts.
Her neck and back may feel uncomfortable as a result of this imbalance. . Also, the skin in the area where the breast
was removed may be tight, and the muscles of the arm and shoulder may feel stiff. Some women have transient
weakness and restricted movement in these muscles after a mastectomy, although for the majority of women
, this is only temporary. The doctor, nurse, or physical therapist can recommend exercises to
help a woman regain movement and strength in her arm and shoulder.Because nerves may be injured or cut
during After surgery, a woman can experience tingling and numbness in her upper arm, shoulder, and upper
chest. Though these sensations typically pass within a few weeks or months, some women have numbness that
lasts a lifetime.
Removing the lymph nodes under the arm slows the flow of lymph. In some women, this fluid builds up in
the arm and hand and causes swelling (lymphedema). Women need to protect the arm and hand on the treated
side from injury or pressure, even long after surgery. To treat any cuts, scratches, insect bites, or
other injuries to the arm or hand, they should consult a doctor. They must also call the doctor if an
infection spreads to that hand or arm.
Breast Cancer Treatments: Radiation Therapy
Patients undergoing radiation therapy may experience significant fatigue, especially following a number
of doses. Even after treatment is over, this sensation could linger. Although doctors typically urge
their patients to strive to keep relatively active and balance their activities to their energy levels
, rest is still necessary.
The skin in the treated area frequently develops redness, dryness, tenderness, and itching. Even
though the breast could seem heavy and firm, these symptoms will pass with time. The skin may
start to "weep" and become wet as the treatment progresses. The skin will recover faster if this
area is exposed to the air as much as possible. Patients may wish to wear loose-fitting cotton
clothing because bras and certain clothing items can rub the skin and irritate it. It's crucial
to practice gentle skin care at this time, and patients should consult their doctor before applying
any creams, lotions, or deodorants to the treated region. Radiation therapy's transitory skin
side effects are brief, and after treatment the area progressively heals.. However, there may
be a permanent change in the color of the skin.