Follow-up After Breast Cancer Treatment
How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
The standard treatment methods used in the treatment of breast cancer are as follows:
- Surgical treatment
- hormone therapy
Surgical treatment is the first step in the treatment of the disease. It is the surgical removal of cancerous tissue. This procedure can be for protecting the breast without removal or for removing the entire breast.
Radiotherapy, that is, radiation therapy, is the process of applying X-rays to the breast area and armpit, in case cancer cells remain after surgery. Radiation therapy is generally applied 5 days a week for 4-5 weeks.
Chemotherapy is a treatment method with drugs that kill cancer cells. These drugs can be taken orally or intravenously. Since chemotherapy is given in cures, it takes 3 to 5 months in total. Even if there is no cancerous cell left in the patient, drug therapy is applied for a while as a preventive measure.
Hormone therapy, that is, hormone therapy, is a treatment method applied to prevent the growth of cancer by eliminating the effect of estrogen in breast cancer types that cause the growth of cancer cells.
The standard treatment methods of breast cancer are as follows;
Surgical treatment: Breast cancer treatment begins with the surgical removal of cancerous tissue. This process can be of two types, for protecting the breast without removal and for removing the entire breast. If the entire breast is removed, it is possible to reconstruct the breast with plastic surgery techniques.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy, also known as radiotherapy, is the application of X-rays to the breast area and armpit. Among the side effects of radiotherapy are symptoms such as weakness, swelling and pain in the breast, and skin tenderness. These side effects disappear spontaneously over time (about a year).
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy, which means drug therapy, means treatment with drugs that kill cancer cells. In some cases, in addition to surgical treatment, drug treatment can also be applied. In addition to drug treatment, it can be applied as a preventive measure even if there is no sign of cancer in the person.
Hormone Therapy: Some breast cancer cells are sensitive to the hormone estrogen. In cases where the estrogen hormone causes the growth of these cancer cells, hormone therapy is applied to the patient to reduce the effect of estrogen and prevent the cancer from developing again.
Life Before Breast Cancer Treatment
The procedures to be considered before breast cancer surgery are as follows:
- Food and drink should not be consumed 6-8 hours before the operation. The stomach should be empty during the operation. A patient who will have an operation in the morning should not drink even water from the night.
- In the days before the surgery, foods that are easy to digest and rich in fiber should be consumed in order not to be affected by anesthesia.
- Diets for weight loss should not be applied before the surgery.
- It is recommended to take a bath before the operation unless otherwise stated. The patient will not be able to take a bath for a few days after the operation.
- Smoking should be stopped one week before the surgery.
- Alcohol consumption should be stopped after the surgery is planned.
- One week before the operation, the use of blood thinners such as aspirin should be discontinued.
Follow-up After Breast Cancer Treatment
After the end of breast-conserving surgery, the patient undergoes mammography between 4 and 6 months. Afterwards, mammography is repeated every year. After the end of mammography treatment, it is recommended to perform a physical examination and mammography every 3 months in the first 3 years, every 6 months in the 4th and 5th years, and after the 5th year.
Studies on breast cancer treatment show that nutrition is effective at a rate of 30-40% in the treatment of breast cancer. Being at an ideal weight and having a balanced diet reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease after breast cancer treatment. In other words, nutrition is one of the main factors to be considered in order to prevent breast cancer.
It is also important for patients to exercise in the process after breast cancer treatment. The main purpose of exercising is to ensure that the patient returns to normal life as soon as possible. Exercise contributes to the feeling of well-being by eliminating the fatigue and weakness of the person after the treatment.
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