Understanding the Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a serious medical condition that can cause a variety of symptoms. While it may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages, it can lead to constant nausea, unexplained weight loss, and loss of appetite as it progresses. Additionally, fatigue is a common complaint among those with breast cancer, and it can be difficult to determine the direction of causation between mood and fatigue. Invasive or infiltrating breast cancer can spread from where it started to surrounding tissues.

It may spread to the lymph nodes under the arm, on the same side as the cancer, or to other parts of the body. Hot flashes are also reported by 40 to 70% of breast cancer survivors, and they have been associated with greater sleep disturbance. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) has been shown to be effective and appropriate in the population with breast cancer. Furthermore, underlying inflammation may play a role in breast cancer-related fatigue.

Several studies suggest that this is the case, and instruments such as the Fatigue Symptom Inventory (FSI) and the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory (MFSI) have been normalized in patients with breast cancer. Modafinil (Provigil; Attenance) has also been studied for its effects on cancer-related fatigue, and it has shown promising results in a couple of studies.

Tonya Sharrai
Tonya Sharrai

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