Once breast cancer treatment ends, most side effects of treatment go away.
However, you may have some long-term side effects and new health effects may occur months or even years after treatment ends.
These late effects of treatment vary from person to person. This can make it hard to plan for and cope with these effects.
Talk with your health care provider about any health issues you have. Although some conditions, (such as early menopause) cannot be reversed, the symptoms can be treated.
Some common late effects of breast cancer include:
Some conditions are related to specific treatments.
Late effects of surgery include:
Late effects of radiation therapy include:
Late effects of chemotherapy include:
Hormone therapy with tamoxifen and/or aromatase inhibitors is taken for up to 10 years.
This is different from other treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which are completed after a number of weeks or months.
Because hormone therapy is taken for a longer period of time than other treatments, possible side effects and health risks from these medications may last longer.
“Quality of life” is the term used to describe a person's overall well-being.
Your mental and physical health (including symptoms such as pain and fatigue), ability to perform daily roles and sexual function are all part of your quality of life.
Research is ongoing to improve all areas of breast cancer care, including survivorship.
After discussing the benefits and risks with your health care provider, we encourage you to consider joining a clinical trial. BreastCancerTrials.org in collaboration with Susan G. Komen offers a custom matching service to help you find a clinical trial that fits your health needs, including clinical trials on quality of life issues.
Learn more about clinical trials.
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