Sickness In Advanced Cancer
Some people in the;advanced stages;of cancer may feel or be sick a lot. This type of sickness is very different to that of people having;chemotherapy;or;radiotherapy.
It can severely affect your day to day life and make you;very tired;and;depressed.
People with advanced cancer can feel and be sick for different reasons. These include:
- the cancer itself
Fatigue Affects Breast Cancer Patients Even Before First Chemotherapy Treatment According To Study
- University Of Nebraska
- A new study has found that even before women with breast cancer undergo chemotherapy, they experience fatigue and disruptions in sleep and activity levels.
A University of Nebraska Medical Center study has found that even before women with breast cancer undergo chemotherapy, they experience fatigue and disruptions in sleep and activity levels. Researchers say their findings suggest health professionals should address fatigue following breast cancer surgery.
Researchers say controlling fatigue after surgery — before starting chemotherapy — is important because fatigue typically increases during chemotherapy. Between 70 to 95 percent of breast cancer patients experience fatigue while undergoing chemotherapy.
The study was published in the current issue of the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. Having studied 130 women with early stage breast cancer , it the largest study to document the prevalence of fatigue associated with altered sleep and activity patterns before chemotherapy treatment. The data confirms what was reported in a previous smaller study funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Researchers measured sleep and activity patterns during the 48 hours prior to the first chemotherapy treatment using wristwatch-sized activity monitors called actigraphs.
Dr. Berger said the findings provide an important benchmark to begin looking for interventions to reduce cancer-related fatigue.
Are You Having Breast Cancer Pain
How often does breast cancer cause breast pain? If you have breast pain, what are the chances it’s cancer?;What types of breast cancers are more likely to be painful? Since breast pain affects roughly half of all women at some point in our lives, these are important questions to be asking.
Learn about about how often breast cancer is painful , and whether pain may increase your risk of breast cancer in the future.
Also Check: What Type Of Breast Cancer Causes Pain
Is Nausea A Sign Of Cancer
- While nausea is often thought of as a side effect of some cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, it can also be a sign or symptom of cancer.
- A tumor in some part of the bowel, for instance, can cause;a bowel obstruction that can lead to nausea or vomiting.
- Nausea can also be caused by many different health problems, such as gallbladder disease, food poisoning, heart attacks, and ulcers.
- If you have concerns about any health issues or potential symptoms, you should consult your doctor or care team.
Medically reviewed by Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH;
Nausea and cancer are often related in that nausea can be a side effect of treatment, but can nausea be a symptom of cancer itself?
If there is a tumor that lives in the colon, esophagus, stomach, or somewhere else in the bowel, it can cause a bowel obstruction. A bowel obstruction means that something in this case, a tumor is blocking the intestines and preventing solids and liquids from passing through to the colon. This can result in nausea or vomiting, according to Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, director of clinical research in the;Gastrointestinal Cancer Treatment Center at Dana-Farber.
Nausea and vomiting can also occur if there are tumors on the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum, which can impair motility of the intestines and prevent food from being properly digested. This can be a common scenario in patients who also certain types of cancers, such as:
- Lung cancer
Mammography Can Rupture Tumors And Spread Malignant Cells
Mammography involves compressing the breasts between two plates in order to spread out the breast tissue for imaging. Todays mammogram equipment applies 42 pounds of pressure to the breasts. Not surprisingly, this can cause significant pain. However, there is also a serious health risk associated with the compression applied to the breasts. Only 22 pounds of pressure is needed to rupture the encapsulation of a cancerous tumor . The amount of pressure involved in a mammography procedure therefore has the potential to rupture existing tumors and spread malignant cells into the bloodstream .
Also Check: What Chemo Drugs Are Used For Triple Negative Breast Cancer
What Other Conditions Can Cause A Change In Breast Size
Some women naturally have two different-sized breasts. If your breasts were always different in size, theres no need to worry.
Your breasts can also change shape during times of hormonal transition, such as during pregnancy and menopause. Call your doctor if the change seems sudden, dramatic, and it doesnt appear to be linked to any hormone issue.
Why Noticing Cancer Symptoms Is Important
Identifying symptoms can help you and your doctor detect your cancer earlier. This is important because the sooner cancer is found, the better your prognosis.
For example, melanoma can be effectively treated if its spotted early. The;five-year survival rate is around 98 percent if the cancer hasnt grown deep into the skin.
While symptoms are most likely caused by something other than cancer, you shouldnt dismiss them. This is especially true if the problem has lasted a long time or has gotten worse.
RELATED:;Lung Cancer Basics
Also Check: What Does Triple Negative Breast Cancer Look Like
Stomach Upset Loss Of Appetite And Weight Loss
Cancer can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation. Anxiety and lack of sleep can also upset the digestive system.
It can be more difficult to eat a healthy diet as these symptoms occur, setting up a vicious cycle. As women avoid certain foods because of stomach upset, the digestive system may lack the fiber and nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Over time, women may lose their appetite and have difficulty taking in the calories they need. Not eating regularly may cause significant weight loss and nutritional imbalances.
How Fertility Might Be Affected
For women: Talk to your cancer care team about how radiation might affect your fertility .;Its best to do this before starting treatment so you are aware of possible risks to your fertility.
Depending on the radiation dose, women getting radiation therapy in the pelvic area sometimes stop having menstrual periods and have other symptoms of menopause. Report these symptoms to your cancer care and ask them how to relieve these side effects.Sometimes menstrual periods will return when radiation therapy is over, but sometimes they do not.
See Fertility and Women With Cancer to learn more.
For men: Radiation therapy to an area that includes the testicles can reduce both the number of sperm and their ability to function. If you want to father a child in the future and are concerned about reduced fertility, talk to your cancer care team before starting treatment. One option may be to bank your sperm ahead of time.
See Fertility and Men With Cancer to learn more.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Cancer
Signs and symptoms are ways the body lets you know that you have an injury, illness, or disease.
- A;sign, such as fever or bleeding, can be seen or measured by someone else. ;
- A symptom, such as pain or fatigue,;is felt or noticed by the person who has it.
Signs and symptoms of cancer depend on where the cancer is, how big it is, and how much it affects nearby organs or tissues. If a cancer has spread , signs or symptoms may appear in different parts of the body.
Genetics Might Play A Role
Genetics might play a role in why some people are affected or not affected by implants. It is observed that many people with BII symptoms carry certain genetics such as MTHFR, HLA-B27, HLA-DR52 and HLA-DR53 placing them at greater risk of developing breast implant illness. It is a good idea to look into genetic testing if you are planning to undergo breast augmentation. But my advice is dont do the implant surgery. I do, however, recommend considering explant surgery if you presently have implants.
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When To Call Your Doctor
Although cancer-related fatigue is a common side effect of cancer and its treatments, you should mention any of your concerns to your doctor. There are times when fatigue may be a clue to an underlying medical problem. Other times, there may be things your doctor can do to help control fatigue.
Be sure to let your doctor or nurse know if you have:
- Shortness of breath
- Side effects from treatments
- Anxiety or nervousness
Cancer Treatments Linked To Dizziness
Some types of chemotherapy may cause dizziness.;Drug-related dizziness may go away after you have taken the drug for a few days or weeks. Tell your health care team about the dizziness and any other symptoms you have during chemotherapy. Today, many medications are available to treat the side effects from chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy to the brain, spine, or other parts of the body related to the nervous system can also cause dizziness.
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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Abdomen
If you are getting radiation to your stomach or some part of the abdomen , you may have side effects such as:
Eating or avoiding certain foods can help with some of these problems, so diet planning is an important part of radiation treatment of the stomach or abdomen. Ask your cancer care team about what you can expect, and what medicines you should take to help relieve these problems. Check with your cancer care team about any home remedies or over-the-counter drugs youre thinking about using.
These problems should get better when treatment is over.
Some people feel queasy for a few hours right after radiation therapy. If you have this problem, try not eating for a couple of hours before and after your treatment. You may handle the treatment better on an empty stomach. If the problem doesnt go away, ask your cancer care team about medicines to help prevent and treat nausea. Be sure to take the medicine exactly as you are told to do.
If you notice nausea before your treatment, try eating a bland snack, like toast or crackers, and try to relax as much as possible. See Nausea and Vomiting to get tips to help an upset stomach and learn more about how to manage these side effects.
Re: Newly Diagnosed I Was In Pieces
Hi, I just saw your post and was wondering how you are doing.;; I was just diagnosed this week and i am going thru the same feelings.; My biopsy w lymph node had it too.; Now every little pain i feel i panic thinking its cancer spreading.; I have an apt w dr tomorrow.;; Stay strong!; Hope you have more news and are starting a treatment plan.
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But Newer Implants Are Safe Right
If you look at research or ask a surgeon, I think most will tell you implants are not made like they used to be, and after years of debating safety they are safe now. You will likely hear that newer implants are not likely to leak or cause illness and they dont have the risk implants once carried. Most surgeons will tell you the simplicity of recovery and give you the general basic risks of any surgery. After all, implants are FDA approved, right?
The FDA has a list of risks and complications of breast implants, but even the FDA notes possible complications, among them being Symptoms such as fatigue, memory loss, rash, brain fog, and joint pain have been reported by some patients with breast implants. Some patients may use the term breast implant illness to describe these symptoms. US FDA;;
I think most surgeons will not tell you that implant shells are made with silicone, which is an endocrine disruptor. Or that they can slowly release heavy metals, silicone and other chemicals into the body. Over time, the immune system is weakened and that makes the other body systems at risk for being compromised. This eventually makes the body go a little crazy and things slowly start going wrong. ;
‘i Felt A Pea On My Ribs’
I had done monthly self-breast exams since I was in my early 20s. I felt a tiny hard little bump the size of a small pea. I could only feel it because it was over my rib at the bottom of my left breast. In retrospect, my bra may have hurt a little in that area before I found the lump. I have had many lumps, bumps, and cysts biopsied, but this pea was definitely different. I scheduled my annual mammogram along with a biopsy. I received the breast cancer diagnosis within a week, just shy of my 55th birthday. Turns out, there was another in the other breast that didnt show up on a mammogram. I also discovered I was a BRCA 1 mutation carrier. I needed aggressive chemo followed by a double mastectomy. Had I not done the exam that evening, everything would be quite different.
Cynthia Bailey, MD, president and CEO of;Advanced Skin Care and Dermatology, Inc., Sebastopol, California
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Cancer Symptoms In Women
Breast lump or change. Although it’s a hallmark symptom of breast cancer, most lumps aren’t cancer. They’re often fluid-filled cysts or noncancerous tumors.
Still, see your doctor right away if you find any new or changing growths in your breasts, just to make sure.
Also get these changes checked out:
- Redness or scaling of the skin over the breast
- Breast pain
Treatment Of Fatigue In Breast Cancer Patients And Survivors
Clinical trials of treatment regimens for the alleviation and management of cancer-related fatigue have been limited compared with those focused on the alleviation of pain and suffering. Treatment of cancer-related fatigue can be complex because of the links observed between fatigue and various physical and psychological variables. Thus, a multidisciplinary approach to treatment and management of cancer-related fatigue is likely to be necessary for many cancer patients and survivors and treatments must be individualized based on underlying pathology.
To recap, in two large studies four and five years post-diagnosis or treatment of breast cancer, survivors fatigue was most strongly linked with depressive symptoms, pain and sleep disturbance and with worse physical health, less physical activity, and depressive symptoms. Depressed mood, cardiovascular problems, and cancer treatment modality were also linked with ongoing fatigue. Thus, several possible underlying factors have been implicated in cancer fatigue, many of which respond well to conventional treatments.
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When To See Your Doctor
It’s important to talk to your physician if you have breast pain from any cause.;Even if it’s not due to cancer, many women find that breast pain decreases their quality of life. In one study,15% of the women experienced breast pain at some time in their life that interfered with work and family activities. So, make sure to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any suspicious discomfort.
The Breast Cancer Centers At Ctca
At the Breast Cancer Centers at each of our CTCA® hospitals, located across the nation, our cancer experts are devoted to a single missiontreating breast cancer patients with compassion and precision. Each patients care team is led by a medical oncologist and coordinated by a registered oncology nurse, who helps track the various appointments, follow up on tests and answer questions that come up along the way. Your care team also may include a breast surgeon, radiation oncologist, radiologist, pathologist and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with advanced training in helping patients restore function and appearance. Fertility preservation and genetic testing;are also available for qualifying patients who need them.
Our pathologists and oncologists are experienced and trained in tools designed to diagnose, stage and treat different types of breast cancer, from early-stage ductal carcinoma in situ;to complex diseases such as triple-negative;and inflammatory breast cancer. As part of our patient-centered care model, which is designed to help you keep strong during treatment, your multidisciplinary care team may recommend various evidence-informed supportive therapies, such as naturopathic support, psychosocial support, nutritional support, physical and occupational therapy;and pain management. The entire team works together with a whole-person focus, which is at the heart of our centers dedication to personalized and comprehensive care.
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The Downside Of Mammograms
Mammography has been the medical industrys gold standard breast cancer screening tool for nearly four decades, and the procedure has been pushed on women with great zeal by physicians, public health programs, and cancer organizations. However, mounting scientific evidence indicates that mammography may not only be far less effective than we have been led to believe, but that it also has numerous drawbacks that are affecting women on a massive scale. Read on to learn about the major drawbacks of mammography, what the research recommends for breast cancer screening, and about promising breast cancer detection alternatives.
Symptoms If Cancer Has Spread To The Lymph Nodes
Lymph nodes are part of a system of tubes and glands in the body that filters body fluids and fights infection.;
The most common symptom if cancer has spread to the lymph nodes is that they feel hard or swollen. You might have any of the following symptoms if your cancer has spread to the lymph nodes:
- a lump or swelling under your armpit
- swelling in your arm or hand
- a lump or swelling in your breast bone or collar bone area
One of the first places breast cancer can spread to is the lymph nodes under the arm on the same side as the breast cancer. This is not a secondary cancer.;
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