Life after breast cancer can be overwhelming; while many are still weak and tired, some try to cope with things differently. There are choices to make and adjustments to be made. It does take time and a lot of energy to get back to normal. Yes, breast cancer, like any other cancer has its own side effects of the medicines, the treatment and the damage that has been done to the body.
Recovering from breast cancer
Your treatment might have lasted for as long as six months to a year depending on the stage of the cancer. Your treatment may have also included many things like surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.All this does take its toll on your health in many ways, which means, there can be side effects of those medicines and drugs that you have taken during the treatment.
Now that you are back, you have to deal with another devil and that is the side effects. You will have to make some adjustments in your life and make different choices. Your life will now take a new turn. Everything is now going to change, from your relationships to your work and from your eating habits to vacations. Breast cancer will definitely affect your lifestyle in a big way.
There are many questions that need to be answered: what to eat to help prevent recurrence, how to stay active, how to live with your partner etc. All the time, you may also have a niggling worry about whether the cancer can come back.These questions are important and can cause a great deal of stress. It can be stressful for a woman to have a different body that she was used to.There are some who are not completely cured of cancer and may need further treatment and checkups.
Side effects of treatments in breast cancer
The side effects depend on the kind of treatment you have had. If you underwent surgery, you will have to go through the pain that is caused due to surgery. The side effects after surgery may include infection to that part of the body, or side effects of anesthesia that may lead to various other issues, or there can be bleeding problem as well. Effects of surgery can also be seen after a few months of surgery, where the patient may experience pain, numbness etc.
A patient who has undergone radiation will suffer from more side effects as compared to the one who has had surgery. The most commonly experienced side effect is fatigue. One can experience fatigue for many months after radiation. There are other side effects like itchiness all over the body, redness on the skin, dryness and tenderness on various areas of the body.
Patientswho undergo chemotherapy also experience the above mentioned side effects and more. The drugs used in chemotherapy may affect blood cells and may be cause bleeding or infection. Patients feel sapped out of energy for months together after chemotherapy. Patients lose hair, and the digestive system is also affected. Nausea and vomiting are other common effects of chemotherapy. Sores and ulcers inthe mouth can also occur. Women also experience early menopause as the drugs used may cause the periods to stop. Besides, there can be difficulty in sleeping and breathing disorders as well.
Hormonal therapy also causes other side effects like irregular menstruation and vaginal discharge. The drugs used in hormonal therapy may cause blood clots in veins of the legs.
Last but not the least; it can have a lasting effect on the sexual life of the woman. It affects woman of all ages. Some of the treatments are responsible for uncomfortablesexual intercourse.
Author Bio: Ralph Coleman is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease.