Two women discussing their side effects

Let's Talk: Side Effect Frustrations

Advanced breast cancer itself can have symptoms which can be extremely challenging to manage, however the treatment side effects are often the worst part. Regardless of the stage or treatment path, there can be a complicated combination of both symptoms and side effects. Community members often mention that they aren't prepared for or have appropriate resources to manage the worst side effects. We’ve collected some ways to get the word out about the side effects you’re dealing with and connect with others going through the same.

Coping with the symptoms and side effects of advanced breast cancer

Living with advanced breast cancer can be challenging. In addition to symptoms from the disease, treatments can cause unwanted side effects and create additional strain on a person’s body. In order to better understand life with advanced breast cancer, we conducted a survey in 2019 which include questions about symptoms and side effects in our 2019 Advanced Breast Cancer In America survey.

87% of people with advanced breast cancer experienced symptoms in the past month, with fatigue as the most common and impactful.


Fatigue has affected most community members at one time or another. As noted in our Advanced Breast Cancer In America 2019 survey fatigue is the most common and impactful side effect. Abigail shares her story and how she is living with cancer-related fatigue. Are you frustrated by fatigue? If so, check out this article which has tips on ways to help cope with fatigue.

Community Poll

How often do you experience fatigue?

Chronic Pain

Advanced breast cancer can cause pain, and many of the treatment options for advanced breast cancer may also cause pain as a side effect. In a recent article on chronic pain, one of our advocates talks about her experience and how "pain, especially chronic pain, is a life-changer." Share your experience in the poll below.

Community Poll

How often do you experience chronic pain?


Trouble sleeping is another one of the most common side effects when living with advanced breast cancer. One of our advocates, TK Sellman, has several articles that talk about the connection between insomnia, cancer and circadian rhythms.

Community Poll

Does advanced breast cancer make sleeping more difficult?

For those of you who have difficulty sleeping, is there anything that works to help you fall asleep? There are many community members who have this same issue. Comment or share your experience with us!

Brain fog

Although not included as part of the top 4 side effects in the 2019 Advanced Breast Cancer IA survey, cognitive side effects are a big topic in our community. “Brain fog” or “cog fog” are common names for this frustrating cloudy-minded state. Check out Susan's article on ways she tries to combat these side effects. Want to talk cognitive side effects? There’s a forum for side effects! Add your own comment or question, or see what others have to say.

Community Poll

Have you experienced any memory problems since starting your treatment?

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Community Poll

Internal radiation therapy is the most common type of radiation used to treat breast cancer.