Breast cancer is a serious health condition that can have a wide range of physical effects on the body. From tumors in the brain and bones to hair and skin changes, swelling, and thinning of bones, joints, and muscles, the physical effects of
breast cancercan be far-reaching. In addition to changes in the breasts themselves, the skin surrounding the breasts can also be affected by breast cancer, often becoming itchy, dry, and cracked. The physical effects of
breast cancerand its treatment can be difficult to cope with.
Fatigue, pain, lymphedema, decreased bone density, weight changes, mood changes, hair loss, and the side effects of early menopause are all common. It's important to take care of yourself during this time by seeking out information about your type of cancer and its treatment, as well as finding ways to manage menopausal symptoms. Body image is another issue that can be affected by breast cancer. Hair loss, the absence of a breast (which may be complicated by the lack of breast prostheses), lymphedema, and skin changes can all have an impact on how you feel about yourself.
It's important to seek out counseling before and after diagnosis to help you psychologically prepare for treatment. In some cases, surgery may not affect how you feel about yourself. However, many women find it harder to accept the changes that come with a mastectomy. Some women find that breast reconstruction improves their quality of life and helps them feel more confident in general after a mastectomy.
It's also important to be aware that certain treatments for breast cancer can make bones more fragile. A group of estrogen blocking breast cancer drugs called aromatase inhibitors (anastrozole, exemestane, letrozole) can have this effect. Overall, it's important to be aware of the physical effects that breast cancer can have on your body so that you can take steps to manage them. Seeking out information about your type of cancer and its treatment is key to helping you cope with the physical effects of breast cancer.