Dr. Seema Singh

Being diagnosed with cancer is tough, not just for the patient but for their loved ones too. Breast cancer treatment is often a long and challenging journey. Every patient hopes to be cancer-free after treatment, but sadly, some may face a recurrence, either locally or in distant parts of the body.

Staying Aware and Monitoring Changes after Treatment:

After successful breast cancer treatment, it’s crucial to remain vigilant for any changes in the breast. Whether you’ve had breast-conserving surgery or a mastectomy, regular clinical examinations and annual mammograms are essential for follow-up care.

Watch out for these changes in the breast:

  • Changes in skin texture like dimpling or puckering
  • Persistent pain in the breast or surrounding areas
  • Changes in breast size or shape
  • Swelling in the upper arm or chest
  • Redness or rash on the skin
  • Unusual discharge from the nipple
  • Inverted nipple

If you notice any of these changes or any other unusual symptoms, inform your doctor immediately.

Understanding Locoregional Recurrence and Distant Metastases:

Locoregional recurrence refers to breast cancer returning to its original site or nearby areas like the armpit or neck. On the other hand, distant metastases occur when breast cancer spreads to distant parts of the body.

Locoregional Recurrence:

Breast cancer may return to its original site or nearby areas. In such cases, further tests like PET CT, CECT chest and abdomen, and bone scans may be needed to check for disease elsewhere in the body. Treatment for locoregional recurrence involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and radiotherapy, similar to initial breast cancer treatment.

Symptoms of locoregional recurrence may include:

  • Thickened skin near the mastectomy scar
  • Swelling near the lumpectomy scar
  • New lumps in the breast
  • Skin swelling or redness around the breast area
  • Unusual firm spots on the breasts
  • Flattened nipple

Distant Metastases:

Distant recurrence occurs when breast cancer spreads to distant parts like the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. Symptoms vary based on the location of the metastasis.

Common symptoms of distant metastases include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vision problems
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea, weight loss, or vomiting

If you’re a breast cancer survivor experiencing any of these symptoms, consult an oncologist immediately. Tests such as PET scans, CT scans, bone scans, and biopsies may be necessary to diagnose metastatic breast cancer.

For breast cancer survivors, awareness of symptoms is crucial. Early detection of recurrence can lead to better treatment outcomes. Regular self-examination and close monitoring of symptoms can help detect cancer recurrence early, ensuring more effective treatment.

In Delhi, India, there are many excellent doctors who specialize in treating breast cancer. Seeing the best doctor for breast cancer in Delhi, can give you the best care and support as you recover. With the progress made in cancer treatment in India, there is hope for a better future for breast cancer patients.