Did You Know These Five things About Breast Cancer?
1. Fertility treatment options are best explored before you begin chemo
Many times, this step can be overlooked in the process of expediting your treatment.
However, discussing fertility preservation options before beginning any chemotherapy — which could impact long-term fertility — is important.
2. When your hair falls out, it could be painful
As the follicles die, there can be a painful and tender sensation on the scalp.
Many survivors will recommend you shave your head with a close razor as soon as this sensation begins in order to minimize the discomfort.
It’s always important to talk to your treatment team about unfamiliar side effects you’re experiencing to know if they’re expected parts of the treatment.
Many people associate weight loss with chemotherapy, but some women have the opposite experience and actually gain weight. Either can be challenging, both physically and emotionally.
4. Medication can affect your sex drive
Lupron and other hormone-blocking medications can cause vaginal dryness and painful intercourse, as well as decrease your sex drive.
You’re not alone in these challenges.
There are treatment options, and the sooner you intervene, the better. Don’t be embarrassed to ask about your options in terms of topical lidocaine, dilators, and daily moisturizing.
If your oncology team cannot advise you further in this area, they should be able to refer you to a health practitioner who can. Your gynecologist may also be a good choice for discussing your concerns.
5. You have options when it comes to breast reconstruction
Don’t be afraid to get a second or third opinion. Most surgeons offer or recommend the surgery types they’re most familiar with.
They won’t be offended by you getting another opinion, and it will help you come to a decision as a more informed and empowered patient — which is critically important.