Thursday, April 12, 2012

But we aren't dead yet

Ahem, from the patient's point of view, side effects well, basically, they suck. Especially from the cancer patient's point of view - I guess the argument is may feel like crap but at least you aren't dead. Gee thanks. And now the evil 'they' have figured out that breast cancer treatment side effects may last for years through an extensive study of 287 women for six years in Australia - gee why didn't they just ask us? (Any why only 287 women in Australia? There are millions of us here.)

Actually the official term is 'treatment-related complication', not side effect - well they still are pretty sucky no matter what you call them. And that would just be a fancy term for '... skin reactions to radiation therapy, weight gain, fatigue, surgery-related issues, upper body symptoms and physical limitations, and lymphedema...'

'Patients may have fragmented care and receive different types of treatment at different hospitals; both patients and doctors may believe that certain complications are "expected" and "normal" and don't warrant treatment; and many breast cancer patients aren't aware of or referred to physical therapy professionals.'

'"We can no longer pretend that the side effects of breast cancer treatment end after patients finish active treatment. The scope of these complications is shocking and upsetting,...'


Expected and normal doesn't make them any better.The evil 'they' told us that after breast cancer treatment we would reach a new normal. Maybe that new normal was supposed to be life with side effects treatment-related complications.

Actually the researchers want their study to be a call to action on working to improve the life of women after breast cancer. But I really don't think it needed a study, we could have told you, and we aren't dead yet.

2 comments:

M. Hamilton said...

No we aren't dead yet but sometimes the "treatment related side effects" make that option more Appealing (No, Not really). But one not mentioned was hot flashes. I was well past menopause and HF when diagnosed at 66. Now 68 and those little hot devils still are plaguing me 10 months after chemotherapy. I sure wish they would stop!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...My LE is a long lasting SE!

No referral for PT until I asked for it after I had issues...no arm measuring before SNB......

PT should be standard for all breast surgery.

SEs could be managed better for the PT if the doc's admitted how severe they could be and get patients on the care and treatment plan they need before they start cutting!