- You will have some swelling in your breast, side and underarm.
Any swelling or tenderness from the operation or redness
from radiation treatment will disappear over time
- You will not be able to move your arm much for a while.
The breast muscles will feel tight.
- It will take a while for the effects of the anaesthetic
to wear off.
- When you look at the scar on your breast you will see
a thin line of stitches. These will dissolve. Eventually
you should just have a thin line stretching the length of
the area operated on. Where you have had lymph nodes removed
you will have a scar in your armpit, or your scar will extend
under your armpit. Any swelling or discolouring of the scar
should fade in time.
- Your breast may feel more uncomfortable than usual just
before your period for a while
- You may feel shooting pains through your breast at times
- Some people have persistent pain from the operation which
does not go away
- You should ask your doctor about how often you will need
to follow up and with whom and also ask whether you need
any more tests (follow
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare is the clearing
house for all cancer statistics in Australia. The AIHW has
published survival data for the
period 1982-1994 drawing on information from state
Some Thoughts- a New Life
Many women say that being diagnosed with cancer has changed
their life. Having breast cancer can give you a dose of reality
and put things into perspective. When you are faced with the
possibility of dying, things that seemed important can suddenly
seem pretty insignificant.
Some women make major changes to their lives after a cancer
diagnosis. They may throw themselves into understanding the
disease and looking for cures. They may become a big part
of the cancer support network, helping other women.
Other women just want to get on with their life. They accept
that they have had cancer, but don't want to dwell on it.
For these women it is important to understand the impact of
cancer on their lifestyle and work out what surgery and treatment
they want based on this. Even if you are used to being busy,
it is often a good idea to start to take some time out to
Some other women move forward with their life but make quite
a few changes.
You may find that once you have worked through your feelings
you want to make changes to your life. What you did before
may not seem so important. Cancer can help give you permission
to do things you felt you could or should not do before. You
may start to feel empowered.