Most men have side effects during treatment for breast cancer and for a few weeks after treatment ends. Usually, these side effects get better slowly and then stop. But sometimes side effects do not go away. Or they can develop months or years after treatment.
There are two commonly used terms for these side effects:
- long-term effects
- late effects.
Long-term effects begin during, or shortly after, treatment. They last for more than 6 months after treatment has finished. They may go away on their own, with symptoms getting better over 1 or 2 years after treatment. Or they may be permanent.
Late effects are a delayed reaction to treatment. They do not appear during treatment, but can happen months or even years later.
In this information, we use the term late effects to describe both long-term and late effects.
There are many things that can be done to manage or treat late effects. It is important that you do not feel you have to cope with them without getting help.
Late effects may be minor and not affect your daily life much. Or, they may be more difficult to live with and affect your daily life more. There are usually a lot of things that can help you cope with them to live life as well as you can. This information will tell more about ways to cope. Some late effects improve over time and may eventually go away on their own.