nursing career after breast cancer

  1. Hello,

    I have been surfing this site for a while now. It is a great bb.

    I have a question. I have always wanted to become a nurse. My kids are almost grown and I feel I need a change. My question is would you reccomend nursing as a career for someone who has had a bilateral radical modified mastectomy? Are there any restrictions for nursing?


  2. Visit mona b RN profile page

    About mona b RN

    Joined: Dec '02; Posts: 840; Likes: 33
    Professional Student;); from US
    Specialty: Child/Adolescent Mental Health


  3. by   sunnygirl272
    yes!!!! you will likely have the compassion and empathy to become a wonderful nurse!!!!
  4. by   traumaRUs
    Can't imagine that you would have any problems unless you are immunosuppressed. Come on over!!!!
  5. by   oramar
    I have worked with nurses who have breast cancer, no problem. God bless you and keep you and good luck to you.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Yea I agree w/traumas. GO FOR IT if you are not on IMMUNOSUPPRESIVE therapy! We would love to have you...and so would the patients!
  7. by   Jenny P
    I've known several nurses who have continued to work after breast cancer surgery. One nurse in particular will always stand out in my mind: she showed a 17 y/o HER bilateral mastectomy scars before he went for cancer surgery (AKA for bone cancer) and told him she wanted to see his scars after. This kid was scared spitless and totally non-compliant before that; she broke through his defences and was able to help him recover. She talked with him about prosthetics, etc. I will never forget either of them.
  8. by   renerian
    Great empathy for your clients. I would think you would be great.

  9. by   JNJ
    More practically - do you have free movement in your arms and shoulders - it's a physical job during training/education especially, but after that there may be other options? Otherwise I echo the above thoughts. Incidentally, I'm an 18 yr. survivor, but I've been nursing for 30. Welcome aboard.
  10. by   mona b RN
    Thank you all for your kind words. Words like "18 year survivor" are like sweet music to my ears. I don't really have restrictions per se, but, I have been cautioned about using my left arm for strenuous activity. I remember when I first had my mastectomies and someone told me I couldn't mow the lawn. I was so upset that I cried(I know that sounds weird). But it's all about adjustments isn't it.

    A word to the wise. BSE every month. That is how I found my cancer. Mamography did NOT pick it up. Neither did my doc. And don't overlook the nipple area. I was 36 y/o when I was diagnosed. Thank God I had the sense to check myself.

    See Ya

    mona b
  11. by   jemb
    mona b


    You have experience that will help you be an excellent nurse. I currently work with two nurses who are breast cancer survivors.

    Nursing can be physically strenuous - no question about that.
    But--- I have a dear friend who had a bilateral mastectomy less than two years ago. Recently she was part of very strenuous world record sporting event! Point being - only you know your personal physical limitations, so don't let the "strenuous" part scare you away!
  12. by   mattsmom81
    Some facilities do require functional capacity evaluations...and some job descriptions call for a nurse to lift up to 100 you may want to check with your doc and make sure this is OK for you...hope it is...and best wishes to you!!