Side effects and symptoms

Late effects of breast cancer treatment

  • General information

    Possible late effects of breast cancer treatment

    Some women may have side effects that don’t go away or develop years after treatment for breast cancer.

  • General information

    Breast and arm changes

    Treatment for breast cancer can cause changes in the look and feel of the breast and arm.

  • General information

    Menopausal symptoms

    Some treatments for breast cancer may cause an early menopause or menopausal symptoms. There are ways to manage this.

  • General information

    Effects on fertility

    Some breast cancer treatments can affect your fertility. This may be temporary or permanent depending on the treatment you’ve had and your age.

  • General information

    Sex life

    Breast cancer and its treatments can affect your sex life. This often gradually improves and some side effects can be managed.

  • General information

    Concentration and memory problems

    After treatment, some women have difficulty concentrating or remembering things. This usually gets better over time.

  • General information

    Effects on the heart

    Some treatments for breast cancer can increase the risk of getting heart problems later in life.

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    Effects on the lungs

    Very rarely, radiotherapy to the breast area can affect the lungs. This can cause breathlessness.

  • General information

    Effects on the bones

    Some treatments can increase your risk of bone thinning or cause joint problems. Looking after your bones can help.

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    Weight gain

    Women may gain weight during or after treatment for breast cancer. This can be a side effect of certain drugs.

  • General information

    Tiredness

    Tiredness (fatigue) is probably the most common side effect of breast cancer treatment. There are ways of coping with this.

  • General information

    Peripheral neuropathy

    Some women have symptoms of pins and needles due to nerve damage caused by chemotherapy, surgery or radiotherapy.