Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. Pollution, unhealthy lifestyle, exposure to radiation, genetics, and other factors are responsible for the rise in breast cancer cases every year. With the advancement in treatment options and increased awareness, more women survive this cancer than before.
About the Treatment
What are the Signs and Symptoms?
Women's breasts experience many changes over the years, from puberty to menopause. The factors affecting these changes are mainly hormonal such as pre-post pregnancy or pre-post menopause period. Thus, it is more important to identify signs associated with a cancerous growth in breasts. These symptoms include:
Presence of lump or lumpiness, particularly in one of the breasts
Discharge from nipples
Change in nipples such as redness
Change in shape or size of the breast(s)
Constant and unusual pain
Change in the skin such as redness, rash, dimpling of the skin, also called orange peel skin
Unusual thickening in some area of the
Recovery data Your doctor will discuss the recovery period in your situation, ranging from a few weeks to months for complete recovery. This largely depends upon the type of treatment, how extensive the surgery was, etc.
Treatment Procedures & Success Rates Over time, with the developments of innovative drugs and advancement in technology, the success rate of treatment has increased tremendously. The five-year survival rate of non-metastatic breast cancer patients is over 90% (1). The success rate mainly depends on your age, overall health, and how well cancer responds to the treatment, hormone receptors, and other factors. Women diagnosed at an early stage tend to have a higher success rate.
Yes, you can live a long and healthy life after the treatment. Even though the treatment is extensive and takes a few months to even a year to get back to everyday life, most patients do not find any difficulty adapting to life after the surgery. In cases of patients wherein lymph nodes from the armpit are removed, certain precautions need to be taken to avoid the risk of lymphedema.
The surgery takes around 2-4 hours depending upon the type of surgery i.e., whether it is a mastectomy, breast conservative surgery, or lymphadenectomy. Some of these surgeries are highly invasive and require a longer time to recover.
Like any other surgical procedure, there are few risks associated with breast cancer's surgical treatment, including chances of infection, bleeding, swelling of the arm (a condition known as lymphedema), reaction to anesthesia, etc.
Plan your treatment by choosing the right center for treatment. Discuss with your doctor about your cancer stage, its growth, if your cancer is HER2-positive, treatment options suitable for you, the possible side effects of your treatment, etc. Prepare yourself physically by following a healthy diet and pre-surgery exercise suggested by your physiotherapist.
Enquire about the duration of treatment and how long you are required to stay in the hospital. Apply for a medical visa accordingly. Prepare yourself financially by checking if your medical insurance covers the treatment.
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