Breast cancer isn’t so bad – it’s the treatment that’s tough! Many of us have had that thought as we’ve made our way through breast cancer treatment. Surgery, radiation, chemo, and long-term drugs all have their own challenges.
If you’ve chosen to treat your breast cancer, you can’t avoid the rough spots. But knowing what to expect along the way – from deciding what treatment to have, to going through it, to dealing with the side effects (both immediate, and long-term) – is a big help. Knowledge is power. It also diffuses fear. Arm yourself with information, and you’ll be better able to handle those treatment challenges! Let’s begin with your medical team. Understand that you’ll be dealing with some of your cancer doctors for a long time – perhaps the rest of your life. It’s critical that you have personnel in place that you trust, and with whom you feel comfortable. •Picking a Breast Cancer D...
"Flying isn't fun anymore," my brother-in-law frequently proclaims along with other travelers tired of security checks and crowded seats. I certainly agreed with him while I sat on full plane in New Hampshire for an hour waiting for clearance on my way home from visiting our children and new grandbaby. Flying definitely isn't fun anymore for me because I have lymphedema .
No one explained it to me at the time, but I was at double risk for this condition that causes swelling because I had 24 lymph nodes removed when I had my mastectomy , and I had extensive radiation to my chest and lymph nodes. Sure enough about a year after my cancer treatment ended, one day I noticed that all the creases in my right wrist were gone. Wow! Did I gain weight that fast? Nope, the creases were still there on the left wrist. The surgeon prescribed a compression sleeve to control the swelling.
The sleeve was uncomfortable and didn't help much, but I did get a little better. The next time I saw ...
Local treatments such as surgery and radiation therapy are given to treat the invasive ductal carcinoma itself and any nearby areas that may be affected by cancer, such as the chest and lymph nodes.
People with invasive ductal carcinoma need surgery not only to remove the breast tumor itself, but also to confirm whether or not cancer is in the lymph nodes. You will work with your doctor to determine what type of surgery is right for you, based on the stage and grade of the cancer and other factors specific to your situation.
In most cases, surgery is the first treatment for invasive ductal carcinoma. However, if the tumor is large or the cancer has spread to many lymph nodes or other parts of the body, treatments such as chemotherapy or hormonal therapy may be given first to shrink the cancer.
Possible surgical procedures include the following:
Lumpectomy : The surgeon removes only the tumor (the “lump”) and some of the normal tissue that surrounds it. Sometimes, axillary (un...
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