Written By Emma Willson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Chemotherapy stands out as one of the most common and effective treatments for cancer. It is a procedure that targets and destroys cancer cells. However, chemotherapy does more than rid the body of cancer cells.
The treatment is powerful enough to get rid of rapidly dividing cancer cells. Sadly, healthy body cells also take a hit at times. As a result, one can expect a series of side effects. It varies from one person to the other and depends on different factors like age, overall health, sex, and the nature of chemotherapy treatment.
The good news is most of these side effects might disappear when the treatment ends. However, some side effects might linger well after the treatment, making life uncomfortable. The silver lining is you can do many simple things to reduce the impact of cancer treatment.
Here are five common side effects of cancer treatments and various treatment options to reduce the effects:
Almost everyone experiences chemo-induced tiredness. It comes right after having the treatment and fades till the next one. You can handle this fatigue in many ways, and one of them is exercise. You don’t have to visit the gym as something as simple as taking a walk can help.
Consider relaxation as well. Taking short naps during the day can help restore your energy level. Ensure you eat a balanced diet and set the stage for a deep and relaxing sleep every day. Consider having a shower or warm milk right before bed.
At times, fatigue can be a pointer to anemia – low red blood cells which help transport oxygen to various body parts. Watch out for extreme symptoms of fatigue like dizziness, shortness of breath, etc., and contact the treatment team.
The skin will also quickly reveal any sign of side effects of cancer treatment. Some people tend to develop a sore or blister when receiving their chemotherapy treatment via injection. Consult your doctor if the area is red, swollen, or turning into a sore.
Some side effects of cancer medication on the skin are itching, redness, acne, peeling, and others. There could also be darkening of the skin, nails, etc. Ensure you discuss with your doctor, even though such changes will fade away with time.
You can also consider using CBD. It helps moisturize the skin, prevent acne, and maintain smooth skin. Taking CBD oil orally or application on the skin can help reduce some of the effects of cancer treatment. You can order Sunday scaries CBD online for this.
Specific cancer treatments might increase the sensitivity of your skin to sunlight. As a result, you need to protect yourself from the UV rays of the skin. Sun lamps are not recommended as they might also increase sunburn due to sensitivity. Ideally, a sunscreen with an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or more is good.
You might experience eye irritation due to some chemotherapy treatment as well. Eye drops can help but ensure your doctor prescribes them and uses them as instructed. Stay away from over-the-counter eye medication unless recommended by your doctor.
The hair follicles also take a hit due to some cancer drugs, resulting in thin hair or complete hair loss. As long as your health team says wearing a cooling cap during treatment is possible, it might reduce the risk.
The procedure is called scalp hypothermia which works based on the theory that low temperature shrinks the blood vessels present in the scalp. This way, the amount of chemo drug that gets to the scalp reduces.
Another approach to reducing hair loss is by being gentle with the hair during and after the treatment. Reduce excessive pulling and use a comb with a wide tooth. Avoid chemical treatments and be gentle with the hair.
Vomiting and Nausea
One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is vomiting which varies from one person to another. The length also varies depending on the medications. You can address this in various ways:
Eat only a light meal before the treatment to reduce nausea or vomiting. Also, taking a nap immediately might help.
Nausea might stay longer compared to vomiting. Consider taking ginger ale, tonic water, fruit juice, etc. The idea is to take fluids to prevent dehydration and whatever anti-nausea medication your physician prescribed.
Dry food immediately after waking up, like toast or crackers, can help relieve nausea. You can also consider cold beverages like fruit juice or soda pop.
Pain medication, anti-nausea medications, and changes in diet can trigger constipation. This happens when you don't have frequent bowel movements and have trouble using the restroom. You can address this by improving the fiber content in your meal.
Contact your doctor or care provider if you can’t use the toilet for two days or more after what seems normal. For people on pain medication like morphine, adding laxatives or stool softeners is a good idea. Ensure you consult your doctor on the best laxative to use.
Side effects of cancer treatment can make one feel sick and miserable. However, arming yourself with some tips can help you counter these ill effects. This article has explored several side effects of cancer medication and various ways you can handle them.
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Emma Willson is a passionate writer and guest blogger. Writing helps her to improve her knowledge, skills and understanding about specific industries. Currently, she is writing beauty blogs for women. She is passionate about spreading her knowledge and tips across the world. Apart from writing she likes cooking, styling, and traveling.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.