With breast cancer becoming more common, more women are having their breasts checked. The size of the breast tumor and its surrounding area, as well as the age and general health of the patient, will all play a role in the treatment. There are three options for treatment: surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Treatment can be performed in one or several stages, with gaps between. The patient may experience many changes throughout their life.
Breast Cancer Treatment
Fatigue and pain: It is common to feel tired or fatigued all the time, even though you are getting enough rest. Anemia and other health problems can make it worse. Patients will have different remedies and causes for fatigue. You may experience skin sensitivity and painful scarring in the breast area. Some women who have had their breasts removed may feel phantom or perceived pain.
Hair fall: Treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy can cause hair loss. To mask their condition, some patients may use wigs, toupees, or a headscarf.
Lymphedema can be caused by breast cancer treatment or other treatments. It is caused when lymphatic fluid builds up in one or more body parts, leading to swelling.
Oral health: Patients may experience dry mouth, gum pain, infection, dry mouth, tender gums, dry mouth, and tooth decay.
Weight gain or weight loss: Some patients may gain weight without a clear reason. However, many others experience a loss of appetite that leads to weight loss.
Trouble swallowing: Patients who have difficulty swallowing may find it difficult to chew or swallow food and stop eating. Soft foods and soups might be the only options in these cases.
Bowel and bladder problems: Some people have difficulty holding their bladder or bowels, while others might experience constipation due to the medication they are taking.
Menopausal symptoms may occur in middle age. Patients might experience missed periods, delayed periods, or even early menopause.
Sexual life: Any of the above symptoms can lead to a complete loss of interest in sex or intimacy.
After treatment for breast cancer
Fatigue or pain: Even after treatment has ended, fatigue and pain can persist. Your doctor will recommend treatment and management.
Hairfall and hair-growth after treatment for cancer. However, hair growth may resume after the treatment is completed. Hair may become thicker, thinner, or curlier than in the past.
Cognitive issues: Reduced brain function is the most common side effect of cancer treatment. The condition is known as ‘chemobrain’ and can be either temporary or permanent. It involves memory loss, difficulty understanding complex tasks or managing them. The doctor will again recommend ways to overcome this condition.
Anger, stress, anxiety, guilt, and/or guilt: Patients must be tested periodically to ensure that they do not relapse. Many suffer from guilt at being a financial or physical burden on their family members and caregivers. Some may feel angry or “Why me?”
Clothing: Regular brassieres are not recommended for sensitive skin. The new norm will be loose-fitting bras and soft bras, which are readily available.
Problems with body image: A breast removal or scarring from breast surgery can lead to shyness and constant awareness of one’s own body.
Life after breast cancer treatment: Sex may not be as exciting or enjoyable.
Returning to work: Patients in their mid-life may decide to stop working permanently due to the above problems. However, those who are younger or have financial constraints might choose to return to work. This will require a change in lifestyle and routines.
Join forums and support groups
Although it may seem difficult to live during and after breast cancer treatment, there are many options. There is plenty of research on breast cancer, with a steady increase in cases worldwide since the 1990s. In recent years, there have been many patient groups and survivors forums online. Today, there is an abundance of information, tips, and suggestions, as well as one-on-one consultations.
You don’t have to travel far. You can consult a top Oncologist in Kolkata to get the best treatment and rehabilitation for your cancer.
Dr. Azhar Alam is a renowned Laser Surgeon in Kolkata.