Find out about the side effects of external radiotherapy for breast cancer and how to cope with them. Radiotherapy can cause side effects. The effects can start after a couple of weeks of treatment.
Postoperative radiation therapy RT and chemotherapy,both reduces the risk of local recurrence and extends overall survival in patients with breast cancer BC. Concerns have, however, been raised about the risk of acute and chronic side effects in breast cancer survivors as the number of treated individuals is large and their expected survival is long compared to most patients with other malignant diseases. Cardiac toxicity, reproductive dysfunction, pneumonitis RP ,arm lymph edema, neuropathy, skin changes are examples of the wide range of complications that has been associated with adjuvant treatment.
Radiation therapy in combination with surgery, chemotherapy, and endocrine therapy as indicated, has led to excellent local and distant control of early stage breast cancers. With the majority of these patients surviving long term, mitigating the probability and severity of late toxicities is vital. Radiation to the breast, with or without additional fields for nodal coverage, has the potential to negatively impact long term cosmetic outcome of the treated breast as well as cause rare, but severe, complications due to incidental dosage to the heart, lungs and contralateral breast.
Skin reactions 2. Swelling of the breast 3. Pain in the breast or chest area 4. Hair loss in the armpit 5.
Concern over long-term side effects of radiation therapy is becoming more common, as survival rates improve. Just as there can be long-term side effects of chemotherapyradiation therapy may result in side effects that may begin and linger far after treatment has been completed. In addition, many people will not experience any of these late effects.
Some women with breast cancer will need radiation, often in addition to other treatments. The need for radiation depends on what type of surgery you had, whether your cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or somewhere else in your body, and in some cases, your age. Tumors that are large or involve the skin might also need radiation.
If you're struggling to find what you need, call our Support line on 7 days a week, 8am-8pm. You may be given radiotherapy to reduce the risk of breast cancer coming back in the breast, chest or lymph nodes. Radiotherapy uses high-energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells.
Breast cancer refers to cancer that begins in the cells within the breasts. It can metastasize spread from the breasts to other areas of the body, such as the bones and liver. Most of the early symptoms of breast cancer involve changes to the breasts.