Thursday 04 June 2020

Breast cancer treatment takes its toll on survivors’ health – study

Nearly all women who undergo treatment breast cancer are left with lingering health problems such as fatigue or difficulty concentrating, a survey has found.

Pins and needles were another common after-effect of cancer treatment, according to the research carried out by the national cancer centre IKNL and research institution NIVEL.

Researchers interviewed 404 women who had operations for primary breast cancer between 2012 and 2016 about their health in the five years since they were diagnosed. Overall 93% reported problems with their health after treatment, most commonly from chemotherapy.

Previous research by IKNL and the Dutch federation of cancer patients’ organisations concluded that there was not enough post-operative care for the 800,000 cancer survivors in the Netherlands.

The latest study said that better awareness of the problems that cancer patients experience would enable oncologists to devise better post-treatment plans. ‘The balance has to be struck between the risk of the disease returning and the chance of later health complications.’

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