Breast cancer is the type of cancer that develops in the breast tissue. The disease can affect both men and women but more women are affected (about 1 in 8 women are affected during their lives).
It is not exactly known why some women go on to develop breast cancer and some don’t, but it is known that age, genes, obesity, and drinking alcohol, increases a woman’s risk.
Symptoms of breast cancer usually include lump in the breast, change in shape and size of the breast and discharge from the nipple. If these symptoms are detected on time, breast cancer is treatable.
Surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy), chemotherapy, radiation therapy and hormone therapy, are some types of treatment that may be considered. There are different stages of breast cancer and survival rate would depend on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis.
If detected at an early stage, the survival rate for breast cancer is over 90%. After treatment, care is not automatically terminated for a cancer patient. Follow-up care, which involves regular physical examinations and tests, commences. The main purpose of follow-up care is to watch out for reoccurrence.
Some breast cancer patients are able to successfully overcome the disease after treatment, while some are not able to. Here are some of the things you should know about cancer treatment:
- After treatment, breast cancer can come back in the breast or other parts of the body. This is because small areas of cancer cells may be undetected and left in the body and over time, these cells may increase in size
- After treatment, the breast usually changes in shape and size. It may become scarred and the area around the surgical site may become hardened if surgery was done
- Treatments usually have both short-term and long-term side effects
- Hair usually starts to grow back once treatment has finished and sometimes before completion of treatment
- Many patents gain weight during or after treatment
- Breast reconstruction or breast prosthesis can be opted for by breast cancer patients after treatment