The Road To Recovery After Types Of Breast Cancer Surgery

 breast cancer surgery

Breast cancer is a chronic and life-threatening disease, any cancer for that matter is disturbing. It takes a toll on one’s health- physically, mentally, and financially. Going through the treatment process itself sounds scary. The whole journey to the treatment can be overwhelming as well as the recovery period. Your overall experience will depend on the type of treatment you had, the type of cancer, and your overall health. Therefore, before undergoing the surgery learn as much as you can regarding breast cancer surgery and its recovery period.

The breast cancer surgery cost in India is approximately 5 lakhs to 6 lakhs and can further go upto 20 lakhs for chemotherapy along with radiation therapy. 

After successful breast cancer surgery, you have to return back to living a normal life. This normal life can take upto 6 months to one year. But this “normal life” isn’t that normal you had before. You may call it “The New Normal”. After the end of the mastectomy surgery and other procedures, you have to indulge in various changes in lifestyle such as eating habits, regular physical activities and even there is a change in relationship with your family members and spouse. 

You must take precautionary measures to prevent remission of breast cancer. You also need ways to fight fatigue. What about your sex life? Will that be just like before? These are the most asked questions after the treatment of breast cancer. 

Recovery after the breast cancer surgery takes some time to heal. You must have been through surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and other treatment. All this is overwhelming and we understand it is not at all an easy path. 

The cost of hormone therapy for breast cancer in India is very less compared to other nations in the world. 

According to research, many women after modified mastectomy surgery in India for breast tumors face issues such as extreme fatigue as a result of chemotherapy while some face memory deficits and inability to concentrate. 

Surviving cancer and life after cancer isn’t easy. After the end of the treatment, it is not necessary that your treatment stops means you won’t have any side effects. Instead you’ll experience certain side effects hence to manage stress levels and pressure, you must take rest and adopt a healthy lifestyle.  

After breast cancer surgery side effects may include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Seroma
  • Shoulder stiffness
  • Cording 
  • Lymphoedema 
  • Change in breast, nipple, and change in sensation of the arm
  • Tingling and numbness 

   Breast Cancer Recovery:

The breast cancer surgery recovery time depends on your overall health, the type of surgery performed and the type of cancer you had. 

  • Tubes and catheters:

Your throat may feel sore for a time if you had an endotracheal tube (ET). Additionally, you would also have a tube called Foley catheter to help drain urine from your bladder in the bag. This is then soon taken out to prevent infection. 

  • Surgical drains:

You may or may not have tubes called drains coming out from the surgical opening in your skin. Drain allows the excess fluid to leave the body that collects at the site of the surgery. Your doctor will immediately stop collecting fluid through the drain tube to avoid infection depending on the type of surgery you had. 

  • Eating and drinking:

This is the most common topic talked about all the time. You may not feel like eating and drinking after the surgery but it is a vital part of your recovery journey. Your nutritionist will initially keep you on a liquid diet. If you have a catheter attached to pass out urine, the team of doctors will make sure you pass the urine normally. They may ask you to contain urine in a special container to measure the amount of urine you’re passing out. 

It is said that the stomach and intestines are the last body part to recover from the drugs given during the surgery. Before you’re allowed to eat a solid diet, a team of doctors will check for bowel activity. This will ensure your digestive system is back on track and it’s safe for you to consume a solid diet. After breast cancer treatment ends you’ll be put on a healthy liquid and solid diet. 

  • Activity:

After the surgery, you’ll have to start with moving activities. You will have to start walking and go for physical therapy as well. The movement will prevent blood clots, improve circulation and get digestive tract moving. Doctor will ask you for any problems you’re facing while moving to provide medications accordingly. 

You’ll also be advised to try some deep breathing exercises. All these activities will help improve quality of life after breast cancer. 

  • Coping with life after breast cancer:

You are discharged from the hospital and require rest at home to help you recover swiftly. The discharge will depend on how well your body is responding and whether you’re eating properly. You will require help at home. If you’re in pain, you need to call up your doctor. You’ll take time to heal at home. 

Why does cancer spread after surgery?

It is very rare that cancer may spread after the surgery because surgery involves shredding of the cancerous cells into circulation, allowing them to survive which brings a change in target tissue. 

It is very unfortunate to know that, in Nigeria and South Africa, there is an urgent need of breast cancer survival treatments for early diagnosis and advanced treatment. In Nigeria, there is a limited resource of breast cancer surgeons, hospitals and treatment options compared to developing countries like India. It is seen that the percentage of untreated breast cancer women in Nigeria are higher because of treatment cost and lack of advanced treatment options. 

For any concerns, never hesitate to call your doctor. It’s better to find the solution for the cause of your problem to recover faster. 


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