Breast cancer treatment includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy and women may suffer from many other side effects on taking such cancer treatment. In radiation therapy, the medical practitioner uses intense radiation to kill the cancerous cells and the major side effect of the radiation therapy is that it can affect the functioning of the normal cells of the body.
Tamoxifen is taken to reduce the risk of breast cancer and in some of the conditions; tamoxifen is used to prevent cancer.
Tamoxifen is used in patients who
1. Have a history of cancer of the skin,
2. Have ductal carcinoma found in biopsy and
3. Have genetic condition, where the cancer cells are present.
Side effects of Tamoxifen are
1. Low estrogen level which can cause vaginal dryness
2. Urinary tract infections
3. Increase in blood clotting
4. High risk of getting a heart attack or stroke or endometrial cancer
Loss of appetite: One may suffer from loss of appetite and to prevent it, you can take small meals many times in a day and drink fluids an hour before taking a meal.
Nausea: Certain medicines used for breast cancer can cause nausea and to prevent nausea or vomiting, one should avoid taking greasy or oily food. Take a lot of citrus fruits and food easy to digest such as rice, potatoes, gelatin etc.
Fatigue and depression: One may suffer from psychological problems such as depression and fatigue, which can also cause a loss of appetite or pain. One should take rest and avoid stress. Communicating with friends and relatives helps in reducing psychological issues. Exercising and short walks helps you to take enough rest.
Skin rashes: In radiation therapy, skin problems such as reddening and rashes can be seen. Skin peeling and inflammation is also present. Skin irritation and reduced immunity can affect the women.
Chest pain: Women may suffer from mild chest pain caused by the swelling of the nearby nervous (in case of radiation therapy).
Sore throat: One can suffer from mouth or throat soreness during the treatment and to prevent soreness, take cooked food products that have a puree and fruits such as bananas. Avoid spicy and salty dishes.
Hair loss: One can suffer from hair thinning and sometimes, the eye lashes and eye brows also start falling. Hair loss may not affect all women but once the treatment is stopped, hair re-growth can be seen. You can find new hair growth, which may or may not be resemble your previous hair type.
Weight gain: Lack of activity and intake of medicines can cause weight gain and depression. You should not go on diet to prevent weight gain.
Infections: One is at a high risk of getting infections because the body has a reduced immunity. Medical practitioner gives flu shots before the treatment to prevent infections.
A woman may have to bring changes in her lifestyle, take a healthy diet and perform yoga or exercises to reduce side effects.