Breast Cancer Surgery: 10 Things You Should Know Post Treatment

You will face many changes in your body after breast cancer surgery, like weight gain and hair loss. Read on to learn all about it.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Jan 01, 2023 14:30 IST
Breast Cancer Surgery: 10 Things You Should Know Post Treatment

You should take care of your health after breast cancer treatment and take precautions to prevent further complications. Your body witnesses changes and difficulties post-breast cancer treatment. There might be scars, hair loss, or weight gain after the treatment. Here are 10 things you should be ready to change post breast cancer treatment:

10 Things You Should Know Post Breast Cancer Treatment

Body Changes

There will be many changes in your appearance after your treatment. Your breast area may be bruised or swollen, which will eventually improve with time. While some women don’t worry about the changes, others find it difficult to accept.

Weight Gain

You can experience weight gain during or after breast cancer treatment. This happens because some drugs can increase your appetite or you may eat more if you are anxious.

Menopausal Symptoms

There are chances of menopausal symptoms after treatment of breast cancer. This is because the treatment may stop the effect of female hormones or even stop their production. Some signs are night sweats, loss of desire, hot flushes, and vaginal dryness and pain. 

Also Read: How Breast Cancer Screening Methods Have Evolved Over The Years

Hair Loss & Regrowth

There will be hair loss during chemotherapy, however, you should not be worried as your hair can always regrow. 

Pain

You will have pain and face discomfort during the first week of your treatment. If you had lymph node surgery, there may be pain or swelling around your armpit area, called lymphedema. This is because your arm can no longer drain fluids as effectively as it used to. Therefore, for the first few weeks, you should avoid playing tennis, running, and yoga poses that involve your arms. In some cases, there can be a tingling sensation or tightness around the scar, which may take a few weeks to recover. Avoid taking aspirins for the first few days after the treatment as it may cause bleeding. 

Skin Care

After the treatment, your skin might be black or blue, but you should not be anxious as it goes away after a few days. Remember to avoid irritating the incision point when shaving or applying deodorant to your underarms. 

Follow-Up Exams

You should pay regular visits to your doctor after breast cancer treatment to ensure that the cancer does not return. Your doctor will examine your chest, underarms, and neck during checkups. You will also need a mammogram after six to 12 months and then once every year depending upon the type of your surgery. 

If you had cancer in one breast, there are chances of developing cancer in another breast too. Therefore, you should frequently do breast self-exams to check both breasts. 

Needles In Your Arm

After breast cancer treatment, avoid inserting needles or injections into the arm on that side. Speak to your healthcare professional before they draw blood from your body.

Also Read: Is Breast Cancer Hereditary: We Speak To Doctors For Insight

Keep Your Incision Dry

You should keep your incision dry and clean for at least a week after the treatment. It is better to take sponge baths instead of showers. Consult your doctor before going for a swim. 

Exercises After The Surgery

You should exercise after your treatment to improve your health, mood and boost your energy. This will also help maintain your weight, which might increase after the surgery. Don’t lift heavy weights for the first few days, and talk to your doctor before exercising. Your doctor will guide you on what exercises you should practice. 

Bottomline

Breast cancer surgery is safe but can cause some side effects. Ask your doctor for a treatment summary and visit your doctor in case of complications.

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