If Youre Having Radiation Therapy To The Pelvis
Radiation therapy to the pelvis can cause side effects such as:
- Bladder problems
- Fertility problems
- Changes in your sex life
You might also have some of the same problems people get from radiation to the abdomen, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.
Radiation to the pelvis can cause problems with urination, including:
- Pain or burning sensations
- Blood in the urine
- An urge to urinate often
Most of these problems get better over time, but radiation therapy can cause longer-term side effects as well:
Nipple Discharge Or Changes
One of the most common locations of breast cancer is beneath the nipple. The presence of a cancerous lesion may cause changes in appearance and sensitivity of the nipple. Different texture, color and shape might occur. The nipple may also feel much more tender and have an unusual texture. Some women describe a lack of sensitivity within the nipple, especially during intimate relations.
The American Cancer Society mentions nipple pain, nipple retraction and redness, scaliness or thickening of the nipple as possible signs of breast cancer.1 WebMD also mentions itching, a burning sensation, or ulceration in the nipple.3
A discharge of clear liquid, blood, or milk that doesnt happen during breast feeding might also be a sign of breast cancer. According to WebMD, unusual discharge from the nipple is usually caused by benign conditions, but may also indicate breast cancer in some cases, in which the discharge can be clear, bloody, or another color.3
This happens when a tumor forms in the milk duct on the nipple or behind it. When this happens the skin jostles to one side, allowing the tumor to cause irritation and inflammation that results in an unusual discharge from the nipple. Medical evaluation and followups are needed for early detection, but it is important to remember that many tumors are harmless.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer Symptoms
Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer ;rarely causes breast lumps and may not appear on a mammogram. Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms include:
- Red, swollen, itchy breast that is tender to the touch
- The surface of the breast may take on a ridged or pitted appearance, similar to an orange peel
- Heaviness, burning, or aching in one breast
- One breast is visibly larger than the other
- Inverted nipple
- No mass is felt with a breast self-exam;
- Swollen lymph nodes under the arm and/or above the collarbone
- Symptoms unresolved after a course of antibiotics
Unlike other breast cancers, inflammatory breast cancer usually does not cause a distinct lump in the breast. Therefore, a breast self-exam, clinical breast exam, or even a mammogram may not detect inflammatory breast cancer. Ultrasounds may also miss inflammatory breast cancer. However, the changes to the surface of the breast caused by inflammatory breast cancer can be seen with the naked eye.
Symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer can develop rapidly, and the disease can progress quickly. Any sudden changes in the texture or appearance of the breast should be reported to your doctor immediately.
For women who are pregnant or breast-feeding, redness, swelling, itchiness and soreness are often signs of a breast infection such as mastitis, which is treatable with antibiotics. If you are not pregnant or nursing and you develop these symptoms, your doctor should test for inflammatory breast cancer.
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‘my Dog Found My Cancer’
I had just been to the ob-gyn for my annual check-up and breast exam, and got the ‘all okay.’ Soon after, my little dog Zoe climbed up on me and started pawing at a specific part of my breast. Little alarms went off in my head, telling me to pay attention. It was like a slow-motion movie. I pushed her off and thats when I found a little round BB-sized lump. After a mammogram that didnt show anything, and a sonogram that found the lump, I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. Its so important to listen to the messages our bodies are telling us.
Christine Egan, author of The Healthy Girls Guide to Breast Cancer, Bayport, New York
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Get Help: Your Doctor Is Only The Beginning
Professional oncology social workers at CancerCare understand the complex issues that arise with a cancer diagnosis. Social workers can help you manage any emotional or practical concerns that may be causing symptoms and help you develop ways to cope. CancerCares professional oncology social workers help anyone affected by cancer, free of charge. To speak with a professional oncology social worker, call 800-813-HOPE .
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How Long Does Fatigue Or Weakness Last
Fatigue that is due to cancer and its treatment can last for weeks, months, or years. It often continues after treatment ends.
- For people who have surgery for cancer with no other treatment, fatigue often decreases or goes away over time as they recover from surgery.
- For people getting chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy in cycles, fatigue often gets worse at first and may get better until the next treatment, when the pattern starts again.
- For those getting radiation therapy, fatigue usually gets worse as the treatment goes on and often lessens within a few months after treatment is complete.
- Differ from one day to the next in how bad it is and how much it bothers you
- Be overwhelming and make it hard for you to feel well
- Make it hard for you to be with your friends and family
- Make it hard for you to do things you normally do, including going to work
- Make it harder for you to follow your cancer treatment plan.
Cancer Fatigue Is Different From Fatigue That Healthy People Feel
When a healthy person is tired from day-to-day activities, their fatigue can be relieved with sleep and rest. Cancer fatigue is different. People with cancer get tired after less activity than people who do not have cancer. Also, cancer fatigue is not completely relieved by sleep and rest, interferes with daily activities, and may last for a long time. Fatigue usually decreases after cancer treatment ends, but some people may still feel fatigue for months or years.
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Fatigue Can Decrease Your Quality Of Life
Cancer fatigue can affect all areas of your life by making you too tired to take part in daily activities, relationships, social events, and community activities. You might miss work or school, spend less time with family and friends, or spend more time sleeping. In some cases, physical fatigue leads to mental fatigue and mood changes. This can make it hard for you to pay attention, remember things, and think clearly. If you suffer from cancer fatigue, you may need to take leave from a job or stop working completely. Job loss can lead to money problems and the loss of health insurance. All these things can lessen your quality of life and self-esteem.
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
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Sleep And Cancer Treatment
A cancer patients sleep may influence their response to cancer treatment, and a deeper understanding of circadian rhythm may create possibilities for more effective cancer therapies.
Because the process of cell growth and division is affected by circadian rhythm, cancer cells may be more vulnerable or resistant to treatments depending on when treatment is given. Cancer drugs often target specific proteins, enzymes, or receptors on the surface of cells, and most of these are affected by circadian timing.
Though still developing, chronotherapy is a component of cancer treatment that works to optimize radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy based on a persons circadian rhythm. Some researchers hope that chronotherapy can enable treatments to kill more cancer cells while reducing damage to healthy tissue.
Entirely new drugs may also be developed that seize upon knowledge of circadian rhythm to fight cancer. For example, drugs have been identified that manipulate the on/off signals for cell growth that are part of circadian timing, and early-phase studies have shown positive results for several types of cancer.
Sleeping well may affect the way that cancer patients recover and respond to treatment. For example, poor sleep has been connected to higher levels of pain, longer hospital stays, and a greater chance of complications in women undergoing surgery for breast cancer.
How Long Can Fatigue Last
Cancer related fatigue is different from tiredness which is usually short term and you feel better after you stop, sleep or rest. Cancer fatigue doesnt usually go away with sleep or rest. It can be severe and last a long time.
Fatigue can last for different amounts of time depending on whats causing it. Most people start to feel better after treatment finishes. But it can take several weeks or months before you feel like your old self. In some people it may take a lot longer.
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What Is Cancer Fatigue
Fatigue means feeling very tired, exhausted and lacking;energy. It can be a symptom of the cancer itself or a side effect of treatment.
Fatigue is very common in people with cancer. It can be the most troubling symptom. Many people say it’s the most disruptive side effect of all.
Cancer related fatigue can affect you physically, emotionally and mentally. How long it lasts, the degree of severity and how often you might have it is different from person to person.
Medicines Other Than Chemotherapy May Add To Fatigue
Patients may take medicines for pain or conditions other than the cancer that cause drowsiness. Opioids, antidepressants, and antihistamines have this side effect. If these medicines are taken at the same time, fatigue may be worse.
Taking opioids over time may lower the amount of sex hormones made in the testicles and ovaries. This can lead to fatigue as well as sexual problems and depression.
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How Cancer Affects Sleep Quality
Having cancer can create major sleep disruptions, affecting the ability to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night.
It is estimated that half of all people with cancer have sleep problems. Some studies have found even higher numbers of sleep disturbances with nearly 70% of women with breast and gynecologic cancers having symptoms of insomnia. The rate of disrupted sleep appears to be even higher in patients with advanced cancer, reaching up to 72%.
Even worse, there are indications that these numbers may be underestimated since many cancer patients do not raise sleep concerns with their doctors.
There are numerous potential causes of sleeping problems in people with cancer:
- Pain or discomfort caused by a tumor or by treatment
- Gastrointestinal or urinary problems caused by cancer or its treatment
- Struggles to sleep during hospital stays
- Stress, anxiety, and depression that can result from having cancer
- Infection and fever, which may occur as a result of reduced immune function during chemotherapy
- Cough or difficulty breathing
- Side effects from medications, including pain medications, which may cause drowsiness but interfere with quality sleep
- Disrupted sleep schedule resulting from daytime fatigue and napping
More than one of these factors may contribute to sleeping problems, which can vary for any individual depending on the type of cancer they have, the treatment they are receiving, and their overall health, including coexisting conditions.
Causes Of Long Term Fatigue
Fatigue for people having treatment for cancer is different from the fatigue some people feel long after finishing their treatment. Or those living with cancer. This is also called chronic fatigue. The symptoms last for at least 6 months or more.
Things that can cause long term fatigue include:
- bone marrow transplants
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Not Sleeping Well Causes Fatigue
Some people with cancer are not able to get enough sleep. The following problems related to sleep may cause fatigue:
- Waking up during the night.
- Going to sleep at different times every night.
- Sleeping duringthe day and less at night.
- Being inactive during the day.
- The time of day that cancer treatment is given.
Poor sleep affects people in different ways. For example, the time of day that fatigue is worse may be different. Some people with cancer who have trouble sleeping may feel more fatigue in the morning. Others may have severe fatigue in both the morning and the evening. People with cancer who are inactive during the day, have restless sleep, or who have obesity may have higher levels of fatigue.
Even in people with cancer who have poor sleep, fixing sleep problems does not always improve fatigue. A lack of sleep may not be the cause of the fatigue. See the PDQ summary on Sleep Disorders for more information.
Breast Cancer Fatigue Before Diagnosis
How do I tell when I have breast cancer? This has been the question most people ask but they dont have the most appropriate answer. Breast cancer eats slowly into the body which can make it difficult to be identified in the early stages. Breast cancer fatigue before diagnosis is common among the cancer patients and it must be monitored and managed properly.
This can be characterized by low energy in the body and weakness which are rarely experienced by healthy people. Such condition may be treated lightly before cancer diagnosis and can easily be assumed to be the normal sleep. The fatigue may be experienced as a result of breast cancer without the knowledge of an individual or may be caused by the treatment process.
You dont have to wait for the breast cancer condition to get worse to take the necessary steps for diagnosis and treatment. Today therere better ways for cancer diagnosis which are effective and cost effective in terms of budget. You can totally depend on the related symptoms and fatigue to tell o the cancer condition but a lot more needs to be done.
Across the world, different people have reported extreme fatigue which later turned up to be caused by the breast cancer. You should work closely with your doctor for the right diagnose when you feel extreme levels of fatigue.Impact of the breast cancer fatigue.
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Can Sleep Affect Cancer
It is well-established that sleep plays a central role in human health. Given its impact on nearly all systems of the body, evidence points to various ways that sleep may affect cancer.
Some of the systems that may be influenced by sleep in ways that affect cancer risk include the brain, the immune system, the production and regulation of hormones, and metabolism and body weight. Sleep may affect how cells function, altering their environment or the signals that affect how they grow.
While this is still an evolving field of research, the following sections provide an overview of current science about sleeps potential impacts on cancer risk, progression, and treatment.
Any person who is concerned about their sleep or cancer risk should talk with their doctor to understand how this information applies in their specific situation.
Cancer Fatigue: Does Cancer Make You Tired
Do you feel like you are tired all the time and that most, if not what seems like all of your;energy has been zapped? If so, you should know that what you are feeling is quite common among cancer patients. Why? Because fatigue is a common symptom of cancer and side effect of cancer treatment.
Before we delve deeper into how and why cancer can make you feel tired, lets review just how common having cancer and having cancer fatigue really is.
The American Cancer Society predicted that there would be 1,658,370 new cases of cancer within the U.S. in 2015. That figure represents nearly 4,544 new cases each day. There are many different types of cancer. Some of them are easier to identify than others.
Different cancers affect the mind, body, and spirit differently but most of them make their recipient feel tired at some point or the other. ;This tiredness, known as cancer fatigue, is something that happens to a majority of cancer patients so it is quite common. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society estimates that more than 50 percent of people who have cancer will experience cancer-related fatigue while living with the condition.
What is Cancer Fatigue?
Does cancer make you tired? You better believe it can. It can cause a bone-deep sense of tired that feels like no other form of tiredness that youve felt before. You might even feel like there is no end to the tiredness in sight.
This fatigue isnt just physical exhaustion either. Its mental and emotional exhaustion as well.
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Fatigue In People With Cancer May Have More Than One Cause
Doctors do not know all the reasons people with cancer have fatigue. Many conditions may cause fatigue at the same time.
Fatigue in people with cancer may be caused by the following:
- Cancer treatment.
- Anemia .
- Hormone levels that are too low or too high.
- Trouble breathing or getting enough oxygen.
- Problems getting enough sleep.
- Loss of appetite or not getting enough calories and nutrients.
- Dehydration .
- Changes in how well the body uses food for energy.
- Loss of weight, muscle, and/or strength.
- Medicines that cause drowsiness.
- Tumors in certain parts of the body.
- Other medical conditions.
- Having fatigue before cancer treatment begins.
Fatigue is common in people with advanced cancer who are not receiving cancer treatment.