Diagnosing cancer is a difficult test. The medical team is there to help and orient patients and their families. A woman learning that she has breast cancer goes through all kinds of emotions, often contradictory.

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Sometimes sick people and their families feel discouraged or rebellious. At other times, feelings can range from optimism to despair, or from courage to anxiety.

All of these reactions are perfectly normal in people facing life-changing situations. In general, patients respond better to emotional shock if they can talk about it openly with family or friends.

Questions about the future, in addition to more immediate questions about exams, treatment, hospital stay, medical costs, often arise. Talking to doctors, nurses, and other caregivers can help ease the worry. Patients should actively participate in their “care” by asking questions about their illness and its treatment.

It is often helpful to write down questions to ask the doctor when they come to mind. Taking notes during the medical visit can help remember a particular topic of the discussion. Do not hesitate to ask the doctor to explain all the points that seem unclear. Patients may have many important medical questions to ask; the doctor is the best person to answer them. In addition, a meeting with a psychologist or a psycho-oncologist can be offered to patients who need it.

The social service of the oncology treatment hospital in India can also guide the patient or his relatives for all the practical aspects of the disease: rehabilitation, psychological support, financial aid, transport, home care. Finally, patient associations are very active: they provide information on the disease, treatments, patients' rights, etc. They also often offer support to patients through a dedicated telephone line or meetings between patients.

Sexuality and breast cancer

By touching one of the symbolic organs of sexuality and femininity, the treatment of breast cancer can cause a disturbance in the desire of the woman but also that of her partner. The illness brings a reconsideration of the couple and a questioning of the relationship. Dialogue and possibly treatments adapted to certain side effects of cancer therapy can help to overcome this delicate milestone. A specialist may also have a role to play.

After the illness

At the end of treatment, regular monitoring is necessary for several years to ensure that cancer does not recur.

During follow-up visits to oncology treatment hospitals in Delhi, the frequency of which decreases over time, the doctor questions the patient and examines her breasts, armpits and neck and performs a complete clinical examination. He particularly examines the treated breast, the other breast, and the lymph nodes in order to look for any sign of recurrence. The patient must report any abnormal symptoms, even minor ones, to the doctor.

All women treated for breast cancer should have an annual mammogram of the untreated breast during the first years after treatment. This exam helps monitor the onset of another cancer. Those who have undergone conservative surgery must also perform an annual mammogram of the breast treated to look for signs of a possible local recurrence.