Complications of Breast Cancer Treatment

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Update Date 12/05/2020
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Breast cancer is a serious disease, especially for women. With the development of medicines, the patient may have multiple treatment options for cancer. However, the treatment of breast cancer can sometimes lead to complications or unpleasant effects. The side effects and complications of breast cancer treatment will vary depend on the difference in the types of treatments, medications, and depend on the location of each person.


The common side effects include low red blood cell count, fatigue, easy bruising, infections, nausea, hair loss,… Chemotherapy can damage the heart or promote cancer like leukemia. This could hurt the ovaries causing them to stop producing the hormone cause menopausal symptoms such as vaginal dryness and hot flashes feeling. Menstruation may stop or become irregular, resulting in pregnancy is almost impossible. Women with these side effects may also face the risk of osteoporosis, degenerative joints, soreness due to the fact that cancer cells were removed or chemotherapy made the joints and bone tissue cells are seriously compromised. For some people may experience short-term situation involving concentration and memory loss, called “reduced brain function due to chemotherapy, chemo brain”, or memory loss due to chemotherapy”.


Breast Cancer radiation therapy can cause side effects adversely affect, causing dangerous diseases in the patient’s heart. Although radiation levels and techniques have been improved, but the research also shows that radiation is still likely to cause heart disease. The function of the heart muscle can be affected, can cause congestive heart failure with symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue, sore feet, damaged heart valves. The more serious complications can include pneumonia, heart damage or even secondary cancers.


Some complications may include temporary swelling chest, chest pain, hardening by scar tissue formation in the wound, wound infection or bleeding, swelling arms by excision lymph nodes (lymphedema), breast pain as tingling, feelings of “stinging”, compression, throbbing, fluid retention causing swelling at the position.

One other potential complication of the procedure mastectomy is the psychological impact. Some patients may experience feelings of grief due to the loss of one or both sides of the chest. Some may suffer from depression or anxiety after surgery.

Hormone therapy

Estrogen reduces due to hormonal therapy can also significantly increase the risk of osteoporosis. The decrease in estrogen levels also leads to dryness and irritation (inflammation) of the vagina.

Also, one dangerous complication after treatment of breast cancer is cancer recurrence after treatment. Biggest phobia for patients with breast cancer is cancer recurrence after treatment. Cancerous tumor recurrence likely grows faster, stronger and more malignant than  the previous tumor. To eliminate the risk of cancer recurrence after treatment, patients should consider chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery.

Breast cancer treatment can prolong the lives of patients or eliminate cancer cells and completely recover breast cancer. However, no matter what treatment is, side effects and complications can happen anytime. In these situations, patients should consult a doctor and make measures to minimize the risk for getting serious problems.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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