FROM OUR EXPERTS
When it comes to breast cancer treatment, radiation can seem like a walk in the park compared to major surgery and months of chemotherapy. For me, it was a breeze. I had already survived a lumpectomy and chemotherapy before my turn at radiation. I’d endured hair loss, nausea, low blood counts, fever, two hospitalizations, and a blood transfusion. Radiation couldn’t – and didn’t – even compare. But it’s still quite a process, and what follows will shed some light on how you might breeze through radiation. It’s all quite do-able – if you know what to expect. Preparation for Radiation If your doctor has prescribed radiation as part of your treatment plan, preparation is key. Radiation is a detailed, precise process that aims to kill cancer cells in the breast while sparing healthy cells in the same area. It’s administered by a machine that accelerates charged particles and shoots them at a target that generates photons. Photons travel...
During breast cancer treatment, you may have different kinds of pain in your chest.
After surgery, you may feel a mixture of pain and numbness in your chest in the area where surgery was done. This is because nerves were unavoidably bruised, stretched, or cut during surgery. As the nerves grow back, you may feel strange, crawling sensations in your chest. Right after surgery, you may feel brief shooting pains in your chest. This is also because the nerves are irritated.
During and after radiation therapy, you also may feel brief shooting pains in your chest. Again, this is because the nerves are swollen and irritated.
If you have an implant in place and the tissues around it are stretched, you may feel more severe chest pain.
Managing chest pain
If you have chest pain after surgery or during or after radiation therapy, talk to your doctor. A number of medicines, including acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and opiates, can be used to ease pain.
Some complementary and holistic medicine techni...
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...
You should know
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