After Treatment and Survivorship
Read articles about how to deal with issues arising after treatment for cancer. This section also contains articles on survivorship issues.
Many people with cancer face uncertainty. If you or someone you love has cancer or has had cancer, you may feel that your life is less secure or predictable than it once was or that you don’t know what the future holds. It is important to ask for support when you are feeling this way; there are many professionals available who can help.
Many women with cancer have surgery that affects their reproductive organs. Because of the connection of this area of the body to sexuality, many women experience feelings such as loss, sadness, or anxiety after gynecologic surgery. Some women may feel that they have lost their identity as women. Others may have concerns and questions regarding sexual intimacy and intercourse after surgery. It is important to remember that there are a number of strategies for coping with both the sexual and emotional side effects of gynecologic surgery.
Many women who plan or undergo a unilateral mastectomy (removal of a breast) have the option of reconstructive surgery to reshape the breast, or a breast prosthesis (an artificial breast). This article examines the option of using a breast prosthesis after surgery.
Many women experience physical and emotional changes as result of a mastectomy. This article provides an overview of issues women often face after a mastectomy.
This article explores the latest techniques in breast reconstruction after a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) and topics to discuss with the doctor before the surgical procedure.
Lymphedema is an abnormal buildup of fluid (lymph) that causes swelling, usually in the arms and legs. Lymph is the fluid that carries immune cells (mostly lymphocytes) and proteins found in the blood throughout the body. It is similar to a "highway" for your immune system. Lymph nodes are tiny, bean-shaped organs that fight infection. They can be compared to "rest stops" for your immune cells. Sometimes they are also referred to as filters. Any treatment--such as radiation therapy or surgery--that stops or slows the drainage of the lymph nodes under the arm increases the risk of lymphedema. This article discusses lymphedema caused by surgery and/or radiation therapy for breast cancer.
ASCO member Evan J. Lipson, MD, launched a website that offers people with cancer and their families an opportunity to record and preserve audio interviews as a way to share their personal stories with others. Here, Cancer.Net talks with Dr. Lipson to learn more about why he created this website, SeizetheDays.org.
Many people mark milestones in their cancer treatment plan and survivorship in a variety of ways. For many people, the one-year and five-year cancer-free milestones are very meaningful. Other milestones and anniversary dates can be marked as well, such as the end of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the date of your cancer diagnosis, the anniversary of surgery to treat your cancer, or after each follow-up visit.
As people complete their cancer treatment, they may experience a range of emotions, from relief that treatment is over to apprehension about the future. In some ways, this transition is one of the least understood aspects of the cancer experience. Cancer.Net talked with Lidia Schapira, MD, about coping with the end of active cancer treatment.
After treatment for cancer, many people look forward to returning to the work. Working can provide opportunities to reconnect with colleagues and friends, focus on something other than cancer, get involved in interesting and challenging projects, and start regaining a normal routine and lifestyle. It is also a time of transition and questions may arise about how to talk with coworkers and employers about cancer and how to understand workplace rights and responsibilities. Some preparation before returning to work can help make this transition a little easier.