Treatment & Side Effects

Since cancer treatment may damage healthy tissues and cells, some side effects may be observed.


Short term pain and sensitiveness may be experienced. Loss of balane in patients with big breasts can happen which may hurt their neck and back. After mastectomy, the patient may feel her skin and muscles stretched which is temporary and can be fixed by doctor or physician. Due to possible nerve slimming, the patient may feel anesthesia in her upper arm, shoulder, armpit or breast which last only for a few weeks.


Lymph is a thin, clear fluid that circulates throughout the body to remove wastes, bacteria, and other substances from tissues. Edema is the buildup of excess fluid. So lymphedema occurs when too much lymph collects in any area of the body. If lymphedema develops in people who’ve been treated for breast cancer, it usually occurs in the arm and hand, but sometimes it affects the breast, underarm, chest, trunk, and/or back. Lymphedema usually develops gradually, and you may feel an unusual sensation such as tingling or numbness that comes and goes before any visible swelling occurs. Other common symptoms include achiness, feelings of fullness or heaviness, puffiness or swelling, and decreased flexibility or tightness in the hand, arm, chest, breast, or underarm areas. Early treatment of lymphedema is important, so you should tell your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

Patients who have lymphedemia must pay attention to the following points:

* Not to wear tight clothes or jewellery on regarding arm.

* To carry hand bag or sweat case with their other hand.

* To use electrical shaving machines in order not to cut their armpit.

* To make their injection, blood presture test,etc.on their other arm.

* To do manicure carefully in order not to cut their nail flesh.


Radiotherapy can cause skin reactions. Most people have some redness around the area being treated. The skin may also become pinker or darker over time, feel tender, dry, itchy and sore, peel or flake as treatment goes on, blister or become moist and weepy. Your breast or chest area may appear swollen and feel uncomfortable. This usually settles within a few weeks after treatment. If it continues after this time, talk to your specialist or breast care nurse. You may have aches, twinges or sharp pains in the breast or chest area. Although these are usually mild, they can continue for months or even years, but they usually become milder and less frequent over time. You may also have stiffness and discomfort around the shoulder and breast or chest area during and after treatment.

Radiotherapy to the armpit will make the underarm hair fall out on that side. Men having radiotherapy will lose the hair on the area of the chest that’s being treated. You may feel very tired during or after your treatment. Travelling to and from hospital can be tiring.

If you’ve had radiotherapy after breast-conserving surgery, the breast tissue on the treated side may feel firmer than before, or the breast may be smaller and look different. Also you may see tiny broken blood vessels under the skin. This is known as telangiectasia. It’s permanent and there’s no treatment for it.


In the process of targeting fast-growing cancer cells, chemotherapy drugs can also damage other fast-growing healthy cells, such as those in the hair follicles, bone marrow and digestive tract. These side effects often go away after treatment is finished or within a year after completing chemotherapy. In some cases, they may be long lasting.

Common short-term side effects include hair loss, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, constipation or diarrhea, mouth sores, skin and nail changes, increased risk of developing infection (due to fewer white blood cells that help fight infection), nerve damage (neuropathy), problems with cognitive function that affect memory and concentration, also known as chemo brain.

There are also ling-term side effects such as infertility, bone thinning, heart damage and leukemia (cancer of blood cells).

Biological Therapy

These differ from one medicine to another. They can include: Allergic reactions, Trouble breathing, swelling, nausea, rashes, diarrhea, fever, chills, Dizziness, weakness