Late Effects

A late effect is a side effect that can occur months or even years after cancer treatment. Breast cancer patients should be aware of late effects, as dealing with them may be part of their survivorship care and planning.

For breast cancer patients, that means knowing about menopause, fertility issues, lymphedema, heart effects, lung damage due to chemotherapy and radiation, osteoporosis, cognitive dysfunction (“chemo brain”), digestive problems, fatigue, secondary cancers and emotional upheavals.

Please be aware that you may experience these issues at some point, even if you have not encountered them yet. Most of these topics are covered on this website, so remember this information is here if you need it.

When Do You Need to Seek Help?

If you are having any kind of issue affecting your physical and emotional well-being, be sure to talk to your health care team. Be sure you can describe your symptoms and provide as much information as to what is happening, when, what effect this problem is having on you and more. That way, your health care team can more easily figure out what is going on and help find a solution.


Useful Websites:

Susan G. Komen/Late Effects of Breast Cancer Treatments

Cancer.Net/Long-Term Side Effects of Cancer Treatment

Livestrong/Late Effects of Cancer Treatment

Alabama's Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network

Young women with breast cancer face unique issues. And in the South, there are more young women overall facing breast cancer. In Alabama, young African-American women are significantly more likely to suffer from breast cancer.

That is why SurviveAL is here. Part of the Gulf States Young Breast Cancer Survivor Network, SurviveAL's mission is to help improve the quality of life for young breast cancer survivors, as well as their family and friends, by providing continuing resources and support.

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