Skip to Main Content

3 Breast Cancer Treatment Side Effects & What You Can Do

Posted in: Blogs , English

When going through a breast cancer treatment plan, the side effects of the treatment itself can negatively affect your quality of life. You may feel like you have a fuzzy, forgetful brain. You might lose your interest in food. Or, your hair may start to fall out. All of these can lead to feelings of depression and a loss of control. Fortunately, there are actions you can take to address these three breast cancer treatment side effects.

1. Chemo Brain

Mental fog during breast cancer treatment, often called chemo brain, can persist for up to six months after treatment ends. Dealing with memory lapses, attention issues, and difficulty processing information can be frustrating.

What you can do:

  • Use a planner to help organize your life.
  • Get sticky notes to write reminders.
  • Write down your thoughts in a journal throughout the day.
  • Try gentle exercise, like yoga, as it’s been shown to improve cognitive function.

2. Eating Issues

While undergoing breast cancer treatment, you may find yourself losing interest in food. If you’re dealing with a poor appetite, little changes to your diet can go a long way in keeping you healthy.

What you can do:

  • Talk with your cancer team to figure out what may be causing your appetite issues.
  • Try eating breakfast and frequent, small meals.
  • Add high-calorie foods, like pudding, yogurt, milkshakes, or cream-based soups, into your diet.
  • Add butter, oil, and syrups to foods to increase calorie intake.
  • Use plasticware rather than silverware to reduce the metallic taste you may be experiencing.
  • Eat with friends or family members for pleasant conversation.

3. Hair Loss

Treatment-related hair loss is a common side effect for breast cancer patients. Hair is a unique part of your identity, and losing it can be distressing.

What you can do:

  • Talk with your doctor about using a cooling cap, which might reduce your fallout.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb and be gentle when brushing and washing your hair.
  • Avoid damaging your hair with rollers, flat irons, or blow dryers.
  • Purchase a wig before you start losing any hair to better match your hair’s color.
  • Shop for hats and scarves for a more comfortable alternative to a wig.

Recent Updates

COVID-19 and the Flu: Staying Vigilant

NOV 17, 2022

Many people have let their guard down and are no longer taking precautionary measures against COVID-19. Here’s why health care professionals must encourage patients to stay vigilant.

Read More Additional information about COVID-19 and the Flu: Staying Vigilant

The Case for Annual Cancer Screenings

NOV 16, 2022

One of the most important things you can do for your health is to stay up to date on cancer screenings. By the time cancer symptoms typically appear, the disease may have spread to other parts of the body and be harder to treat.

Read More Additional information about The Case for Annual Cancer Screenings

What is Cholesterol? | What You Need to Know

SEP 09, 2022

Understanding the different types of cholesterol can be helpful. Here’s what you need to know about unhealthy cholesterol levels and how to keep them in check.

Read More Additional information about What is Cholesterol? | What You Need to Know

Find a Doctor

Looking for a doctor? Perform a quick search by name or browse by specialty.