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What Are The Effects Of Breast Cancer On The Body

Feeling Sick And Being Sick

Body image after breast cancer treatment: A resource for patients

You may feel sick or be sick after chemotherapy. This will depend on the type and dose of drugs youre having. But this can usually be controlled.

You may start feeling sick straight after chemotherapy, a few hours after or up to several days later. For some people it may last for a few hours and for others it can continue for several days.

People who are very anxious or prone to travel sickness or morning sickness in pregnancy may be more likely to actually be sick.

Youll be given anti-sickness medication, as tablets or into a vein, before each cycle of chemotherapy. Youll also be given anti-sickness tablets to take at home.

Several types of anti-sickness drugs are available. You may need to take a combination of drugs to relieve your symptoms. This may include taking a low dose of steroids for a short time. If you keep feeling sick or are being sick, let someone in your treatment team know.

Contact your hospital if you keep being sick and have difficulty keeping fluids down, even if it happens at the weekend or during the night.

Breast Examination After Treatment For Breast Cancer

After surgery

The incision line may be thick, raised, red and possibly tender for several months after surgery. Remember to examine the entire incision line.

If there is redness in areas away from the scar, contact your physician. It is not unusual to experience brief discomforts and sensations in the breast or nipple area .

At first, you may not know how to interpret what you feel, but soon you will become familiar with what is now normal for you.

After breast reconstruction

Following breast reconstruction, breast examination for the reconstructed breast is done exactly the same way as for the natural breast. If an implant was used for the reconstruction, press firmly inward at the edges of the implant to feel the ribs beneath. If your own tissue was used for the reconstruction, understand that you may feel some numbness and tightness in your breast. In time, some feeling in your breasts may return.

After radiation therapy

After radiation therapy, you may notice some changes in the breast tissue. The breast may look red or sunburned and may become irritated or inflamed. Once therapy is stopped, the redness will disappear and the breast will become less inflamed or irritated. At times, the skin can become more inflamed for a few days after treatment and then gradually improve after a few weeks. The pores in the skin over the breast also may become larger than usual.

What to do

Reducing Your Risk Of Infection And Bleeding

You can help reduce the risk of infection and bleeding by:

  • Regularly washing and drying your hands thoroughly
  • Cleaning any cuts and grazes and cover with a dressing or plaster
  • Avoiding people who are unwell or may be infectious
  • Eating as healthily as possible, and following any advice about food and drink given to you by your hospital
  • Drinking plenty of fluids

Also Check: What Are The Symptoms Of Stage 1 Breast Cancer

Read Also: Stage Iiia Breast Cancer Prognosis

A Patient Guide To Get Medical Marijuana In Oklahoma

Even though medical marijuana is legal in many states, there are set laws on how to obtain it legally. Read along to learn how to get medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

On May 18, 2021, the Gov. of Oklahoma, Kevin Stitt, House Bill 2272 into law. The law changed a few things in the medical marijuana sector in Oklahoma. The changes that took effect were meant to address the following concerns in the medical cannabis sector:

  • How foreigners should operate cannabis businesses in Oklahoma.
  • How the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority should conduct compliance checks online
  • Inspections to confirm if the licenses were operating actively or not

Since these changes are meant to remove a couple of bad actors in the Oklahoma medical marijuana sector, it is clear that the Oklahoma medical sector is taking the right path. The law was also put in place to ensure that all competitors get a fair deal regardless of where they came from.

What Happens After The Local Breast Cancer Treatment

Pin on Breast Cancer Facts

Following local breast cancer treatment, the treatment team will determine the likelihood that the cancer will recur outside the breast. This team usually includes a medical oncologist, a specialist trained in using medicines to treat breast cancer. The medical oncologist, who works with the surgeon, may advise the use of the drugs like tamoxifen or anastrozole or possibly chemotherapy. These treatments are used in addition to, but not in place of, local breast cancer treatment with surgery and/or radiation therapy.

After treatment for breast cancer, it is especially important for a woman to continue to do a monthly breast examination. Regular examinations will help you detect local recurrences. Early signs of recurrence can be noted in the incision area itself, the opposite breast, the axilla , or supraclavicular region .

Maintaining your follow-up schedule with your physician is also necessary so problems can be detected when treatment can be most effective. Your health care provider will also be able to answer any questions you may have about breast self-examination after the following procedures.

Also Check: Breast Cancer Spread To Lymph Nodes Symptoms

What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer

There are different types of breast cancer. The types are based on which breast cells turn into cancer. The types include:

  • Ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. This is the most common type.
  • Lobular carcinoma, which begins in the lobules. It is more often found in both breasts than other types of breast cancer.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer, in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. The breast becomes warm, red, and swollen. This is a rare type.
  • Paget’s disease of the breast, which is a cancer involving the skin of the nipple. It usually also affects the darker skin around the nipple. It is also rare.

What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Like many conditions, risk factors for breast cancer fall into the categories of things you can control and things that you cannot control. Risk factors affect your chances of getting a disease, but having a risk factor does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a certain disease.

Controllable risk factors for breast cancer

  • Alcohol consumption. The risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, women who consume two or three alcoholic beverages daily have an approximately 20% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
  • Body weight. Being obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. It is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Breast implants. Having silicone breast implants and resulting scar tissue make it harder to distinguish problems on regular mammograms. It is best to have a few more images to improve the examination. There is also a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma that is associated with the implants.
  • Choosing not to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding can raise the risk.
  • Using hormone-based prescriptions. This includes using hormone replacement therapy during menopause for more than five years and taking certain types of birth control pills.

Non-controllable risk factors for breast cancer

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Factors Associated With The Disease And Treatment Process

The reported increase in the cancer survival rate of women has been attributed to the development of breast cancer treatments . The treatment modalities are surgery and hormonal therapy . According to the classification of influencing factors in this study, treatment complications are a shared point between these modalities. Womens subjective perceptions of their bodies during the treatment process had devastating physical and mental influences on women. Treatments, such as bilateral prophylactic mastectomy, had negative impacts on womens sexuality . Chemotherapy played a crucial role in patients increasing concerns about weight loss , hair loss , skin redness , nausea and fatigue , and sexual dysfunction, such as vaginal dryness .

After mastectomy, women can encounter a variety of psychological, sexual, and physical issues because the breast is recognized as a symbol of female identity . Following the loss of this important organ, the femininity of women is lessened . As body image is a description of the body which enables communication with others , mastectomy naturally disturbs patients body image. Studies by Mock and Shimozuma confirm these findings.

In addition, factors such as the duration of diagnosis , surgery , chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and adjuvant treatment , are associated with changes in body image. Surgery type and treatment duration can also weaken or improve body image .

Does A Benign Breast Condition Mean That I Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer

Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer?

Benign breast conditions rarely increase your risk of breast cancer. Some women have biopsies that show a condition called hyperplasia . This condition increases your risk only slightly.

When the biopsy shows hyperplasia and abnormal cells, which is a condition called atypical hyperplasia, your risk of breast cancer increases somewhat more. Atypical hyperplasia occurs in about 5% of benign breast biopsies.

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The Impact Of Breast Cancer Treatment On Your Long

The late effects associated with breast cancer treatments. Antonio Wolff, M.D., medical oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Sydney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, encourages a relationship with a primary care doctor who is knowledgeable about these effects on breast cancer survivors and their long-term health care.

These long-term and late side effects may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Pain and numbness
  • Dental issues

Tips For Easing The Side Effects Of Breast Cancer Surgery:

Swelling and pain may be addressed by taking prescription or over-the-counter pain medications. Your doctor may also suggest certain exercises to help with swelling and soreness.

Its important to keep the bandages in place until your doctor removes them as it helps protect the wound, keeps the area dry, and reduces your chances of infection or prolonged bleeding.

Also Check: De Novo Metastatic Breast Cancer Symptoms

Why Might Your Doctor Recommend Chemotherapy

Your doctor might recommend chemotherapy after surgery if:

  • You are younger than 35. Women younger than 35 usually have a more aggressive type of breast cancer.
  • Your breast cancer was bigger than a pea. Breast cancers that are at least 1 cm are more likely to come back later.
  • Your breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes under your arm. If that’s the case, there is a bigger chance that the cancer may also have spread to other places in your body.
  • Your breast cancer is HER-2 positive or triple-negative. These types of cancer tend to grow faster and spread more quickly.

Your doctor may use a genetic test to find your risk for having your cancer come back. Or your doctor may use a computer program, such as Adjuvant!, to estimate your chances of having your breast cancer come back. This information can help you and your doctor decide about chemotherapy.

What Are The Treatments For Breast Cancer

Effects of Lung Cancer on the Body

Treatments for breast cancer include:

  • Surgery such as
  • A mastectomy, which removes the whole breast
  • A lumpectomy to remove the cancer and some normal tissue around it, but not the breast itself
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy, which blocks cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow
  • Targeted therapy, which uses drugs or other substances that attack specific cancer cells with less harm to normal cells
  • Read Also: Breast Cancer Return Symptoms

    Hair And Skin Changes

    Chemotherapy, or âchemo,â can make your hair fall out, not only on your head but also all over your body. Chemo also can turn your skin dry, itchy, and flaky. Radiation might cause your skin to look and feel like sunburn around the treatment spot.

    These effects may change how you feel about yourself. Some people might react visibly. Consider telling your loved ones and others beforehand about what youâre going through. Sometimes it may help to talk to a mental health counselor.

    The good news is that after treatment, your skin returns to normal and your hair usually grows back. Itâs possible that your hair could grow back with a slightly different feel and texture.

    What Are The Risks Of Chemotherapy

    Different chemotherapy medicines tend to cause different side effects. Many women do not have problems with these side effects, while other women are bothered a lot. There are other medicines you can take to treat the side effects of chemo.

    Talk to your doctor about the type of chemotherapy medicine that he or she is planning to give you. Ask about any side effects that the chemo may cause.

    Short-term side effects can include:

    • Nausea and vomiting.
    • Hair thinning or hair loss.
    • Mouth sores.
    • Increased chance of bruising, bleeding, and infection.
    • Memory and concentration problems.

    Long-term side effects of chemotherapy can include:

    • Early menopause, which means not being able to have children anymore. It also can include symptoms like hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and thinning bones .
    • Concentration problems that may last for many months after your treatments are finished.
    • In rare cases, heart damage and a higher risk of other types of cancers, such as leukemia.

    Also Check: Invasive Ductal Breast Cancer Prognosis

    Talking To Your Healthcare Team About Sex

    Your healthcare team is made up of health professionals. You should feel comfortable telling them anything. There is nothing embarrassing about sexual dysfunction, as it can happen following cancer and its treatment. After fighting cancer, you deserve to have a healthy sex life.

    You may wish to talk to healthcare professionals who specialize in areas related to sexual dysfunction including:

    • Gynecologist
    • Sex therapist
    • Psychologist or counselor

    Talking about sexual dysfunction can be difficult. Here are some sample questions to begin your conversation with your doctor:

    • How will treatment affect my sex life?
    • What can I do to manage sexual side effects?
    • I have pain and dryness during sex. What can I do to manage this?
    • I no longer feel any desire to have sex. What can I do to feel like myself again?
    • Could you recommend a specialist?
    • Will treatment affect my fertility?

    Who Gets Breast Cancer

    Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects Last for Years

    Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women other than skin cancer. Increasing age is the most common risk factor for developing breast cancer, with 66% of breast cancer patients being diagnosed after the age of 55.

    In the US, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, and it’s the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54. Only 5 to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are “sporadic, meaning there is no definitive gene mutation.

    Recommended Reading: What Are The Chances Of Breast Cancer Recurrence

    Effects Of Breast Cancer Treatment On Body Image

    Participants who had chemotherapy done, had their hair falling off which they considered a great loss because of how admirable their hair is.

    I have lost my long flamboyant hair, the long hair I decided to hold and twist anyhow, hmm. People use to admire my hair a lot when I go to the salon and now my husband has been complaining about the loss of my long beautiful hair .

    I have lost all my hair when I combed it two days after the chemotherapy, my hair came off so I shouted. My auntie became alarmed and reshaped it for me but later, everything came off rendering me bald .

    Participants relied on wigs both human and synthetic to make up for their hair loss. Some purchased different types of human hair to change their looks.

    Now this wig is what I have to live with until a miracle occurs. I have bought three types of human hair to appear attractive and be able to go to work .

    My husband complains about the wig and said I should not wear the wig but I cannot live without the wig, I just dont feel comfortable at all seeing my scalp bald .

    Darkening of the tongue, gum, skin, and the nails as side effects of chemotherapy became so obvious in some participants to the extent that, one participant likened herself to a smoker. She further narrated about her breast shrinking and discharging.

    After the surgery, something like a boil developed in my armpit which is painful and because of that I do not wear sleeveless dresses anymore .

    Someone Call Me A Doctor / Osteopath Essay

    Someone call me a doctor/osteopath/homeopath?Breast cancer is the most common cancer among New Zealand women, with more than 2,750 women and 20 men being diagnosed every year, and up to seven women each day being diagnosed. Breast cancer can be inherited, with five to ten percent of cancers being hereditary, from the passing on of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. The risk of breast cancer increases with age, however, it can also be found in women and men in their twenties and thirties. It is also interesting

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    Managing The Challenges Of Hormone Therapies

    Hormone therapy for early breast cancer affects people differently. Some people experience more side effects than others and its not something you can predict before treatment. Many women find that the side effects are often worse at the start of treatment, and can settle down after weeks or months, but some symptoms persist for the duration of treatment.

    Hormones occur naturally in the body and control the growth and activity of cells. We know that the female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, can help some types of breast cancer to grow. Hormone therapy works by reducing the amount of oestrogen in the body or blocking its effects. You can have side effects from hormone therapies because they lower your levels of oestrogen or stop your body from being able to use it.

    The side effects you experience will depend on the type of hormone treatment you are on.


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