How to Manage Ongoing Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment?


Breast cancer treatment can cause both temporary side effects and ongoing side effects. Ongoing side effects can make you feel that your breast cancer does not improve after treatment. Let’s see what ongoing side effects are and how to handle them.


Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of breast cancer treatment, which makes patients feel extremely tired all the time. Fatigue prevents breast cancer patients from doing anything. They will be running out of energy and want to sleep more. Patients may only feel better the next day if they sleep enough the night before. Moreover, they may also have trouble speaking and thinking.

There is no medicine to fight fatigue. The patient and doctor can discuss a suitable way to help ease the symptoms. Healthy eating and doing physical exercises can help. Eating well can give breast cancer patients enough energy to do daily activities. Besides, some simple techniques such as listening to music can help release fatigue. It is also helpful to find a support group so that the people in that group may share their experiences and methods.

Breast changes

After breast cancer surgery, the breast may be removed partially or completely. Breast cancer surgery can cause damage to the nerve tissue, leading to neuropathic pain.

If the patients want to improve the appearance of their breast after removal surgery, prosthesis, or reconstructive surgery can be considered. In the reconstructive surgery, the surgeons will create the shape of the breast. Although it is not natural one, it is similar to a real breast.

Breast cancer patients can also experience pain in the breast, nodal regions, and chest wall for many years after the treatment. The skin of the breast may become thickened and the breast sensation can also change. Pain medications and massage can help reduce pain in such cases.

Lung problems

Sometimes, part of the lung that is located near the treatment area can be affected by radiotherapy, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, or targeted therapy. It will become inflamed, causing shortness or a dry cough. Patients should notice if a cough does not go away and short breaths happen more often.

If blood clots move into the lung, the problem may be serious.

Breast cancer patients who are experiencing lung problems causing by breast cancer treatment should talk to their doctors. They will prescribe you some medicines to help.

Reproductive function

Treatment for breast cancer can damage the ovarian. This can cause the body to stop producing eggs and menstrual cycles to become irregular. Breast cancer treatment can also make the female patients reach the menopause more quickly. It may be difficult for them to get pregnant after treatment ended.

If they want to be in pregnancy after breast cancer treatment, discuss with doctors. They may recommend patients to collect their eggs to fertilize them later. Or patients can try fertility preservation options.

Bone health

Treatment for breast cancer such as chemotherapy can affect the bone health. Patients are more likely to develop osteoporosis in the future.

The fact that breast cancer treatment can affect the ovaries make the patients’ body release less estrogen, causing low bone density. Talk with doctors about your bone health before and after your treatment.

If patients are diagnosed with osteoporosis, medications are available to help. It is advisable to check the bone density regularly, eat healthy foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D, and do exercises.

Breast cancer treatment can leave behind a number of long-term side effects. These long-term side effects can cause damage to the patient’s health even after the treatment ended. However, you can still control them and live a prolonged life.

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

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