Tips to Prepare for Breast Cancer Treatment
Being diagnosed with cancer, meeting specialists, arranging funds, finding the right treatment, chemo and radiation, the whole cycle can be exhausting. One big favour you can do for yourself when fighting cancer is to find a good team of specialists.
The most common cancer treatments that are available today are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. A cancer patient can receive one of the three treatments or a combination of them. Your doctor will decide on the type of therapy depending on the type and stage of cancer you have.
Preparing for the treatment is important and before that you need to educate yourself about the about the different treatment options. Once you know about the different options of treatment, do consult your healthcare team about how to prepare for the treatment sessions. Asking questions is the best way to know what to do and what not to do.
The first step will be to prepare a treatment bag. A treatment bag is something the patients need to keep all their necessary stuff in. Most patients prepare and carry it along to treatment sessions. Include items which are necessary and provide comfort as well as some entertainment during treatment. Some of the items that you can include in the bag can be:
- Music player, headphones and favourite music.
- Sweater and comfortable clothes.
- Reading materials.
- Blanket and pillow.
- Books, puzzles or other handy activities.
- Lip balm.
- Body lotion.
- Notepad or journal and pen.
- Calming teas like peppermint.
- Bootie socks.
- Stress ball.
- Cookies, crackers or other snacks.
While the treatment bag is a preparatory step that will need to take when going to the clinic for treatment, you should prepare yourself for the possible side effects.
With surgical methods, the cancer specialists limit the damage caused to normal tissue. Surgery also has reduced risks and side effects.
The Possible side effects of surgery:
- Movement limitations.
- Inability to do some activities
- Changes in sexual function or fertility.
- Swelling or lymphedema.
It is a treatment that uses medications to kill and stop the growth of cancer cells. The medication includes oral tablets or injections. The chemo medicines enter the into the bloodstream and pass through the entire body. There are side effects of the treatment because the medicines can affect both cancerous as well as non-cancerous cells.
The possible side effects of chemo are:
- Decreased immunity.
- Mouth sores.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Hair loss.
- Bruising and bleeding.
- Skin rashes.
The side effects differ in individuals after chemo. While some people have very few side effects, so have more.
The therapy uses X-rays that are directed at a tumour. It can be done externally or internally. The doses of the therapy may be high or low.
Some of the side effects of radiation to head are:
- Hair loss
- Dryness and redness in the mouth.
Side effects of radiation to body:
- Bone growth changes
- Dryness, redness and irritated skin.
- Irritation of the bladder.
- Eating and digestive problems.
- Breast size changes.
- Lung fibrosis
- Bone loss.
These are the possible side effects of the treatment methods. Learn about them and ask your cancer specialist for possible ways to manage these side effects.
Good luck with the battle and wish you a speedy recovery!