Chemotherapy and its consequences
It is known that chemotherapy causes a lot of consequences and complications that have to tolerate for the sake of life. Over the past few decades doctors have learned how to prevent many of the consequences of chemotherapy or to control their intensity.
The most common side effects after chemotherapy:
- nausea and vomiting;
- hair loss;
- weakness and fatigue;
- the disruption of the gastrointestinal tract;
- temperature rise;
- the impaired fertility;
- the lack of appetite.
Chemotherapy in Oncology is of great importance for the treatment of patients with cancer in its early stages and the last stages of cancer: cancer in its early stages is chemotherapy after surgery or even instead, at the last stages of chemotherapy helps to increase the life span.
Unfortunately, chemotherapy for cancer destroy or damage not only the diseased cells but also healthy cells of the spinal cord, hair follicles, germ cells, cells of the mucous membranes and the gastrointestinal tract), from-for what there are side effects. Some of the side effects during chemotherapy appears depends on the dosage of the drug, the type of tumor and the individual patient.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea during chemotherapy is reduced by special drugs. If drugs ceased to operate after the chemo starts vomiting, you must inform your doctor.
Nausea after chemotherapy can occur if the patient uses a lot of fried or fatty foods. Also at the time of chemotherapy should abandon or minimize the use of sweet, salty and spicy food. If nausea and vomiting the patient causes the smell of food, relatives or friends of the patient need to take cooking. At the same time to eat better in the cold, in small SIPS, for 5-6 receptions in day.
It is not known in advance how to operate the specific chemotherapy on the body: some patients it is better to eat before a session, other foods before undergoing chemotherapy is contraindicated. Immediately after chemotherapy are advised not to eat for at least an hour. To take medicine for nausea, even in those days when chemotherapy is not carried out.
Hair loss after chemotherapy starts a few weeks after it started. Some chemotherapy drugs do not cause hair loss, while others only weaken the hair and make it thin.
Hair during chemotherapy can appear not only on the head but the whole body. There's not much to worry about hair loss: some time after the end of chemo they will grow back.
Weakness and fatigue
Weakness and fatigue – complications of chemotherapy that are the most common. The cause of this can be anemia, depression, insomnia and pain that often accompany cancer.
In days of carrying out of sessions of chemotherapy, the patient is recommended to abandon the work and do only the necessary things.
During chemotherapy may decrease the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes). As the body receives oxygen from them, tissues and organs do not receive oxygen enough. As a result, the patient's shortness of breath, fatigue and constant fatigue, dizziness, tachycardia.
For the manifestation of the symptoms of anemia should be reported to the attending physician. Usually the doctor prescribes a blood test, and after confirmation of anemia assignstreatment.
Violation of the gastrointestinal tract
Some types of chemotherapy can cause constipation (no bowel movement for 2 days or more). At the onset of constipation after chemotherapy, be sure to inform your doctor. For prevention of constipation should be consumed during the day about two liters of fluid and food rich in fiber: vegetables and fruits, whole grain breads, nuts and seeds.
Diarrhea after chemotherapy occurs because of damage to the mucosal cells lining the intestine, and treated with medicines. Report this side effect to your doctor and he will prescribe appropriate medication. To prevent diarrhea, you should avoid eating foods that can cause diarrhea.
Swelling may occur in some types of malignant tumors and under the action of hormonal changes in the body. Symptoms of edema include rapid increase in body mass, a decrease in urination. Swelling can lead to shortness of breath, palpitations.
Sometimes the disappearance of the swelling enough to reduce the consumption of salt. In other cases, you must take diuretics. In order to identify the occurrence of edema is important to listen to your personal wellbeing, as well as a daily weigh-in.
The increase in body temperature
After chemotherapy, the temperature could rise sharply due to allergic reactions to medication. Therefore, before the start of chemotherapy usually administered a small dose to determine the sensitivity to them.
The impaired fertility
Chemotherapeutic agents typically have on the fetus teratogenic effect (therefore, in the treatment of cancer in pregnant women have or refuse chemotherapy, or from gestation). Chemotherapeutic agents also affect germ cells. Therefore, in order to prevent pregnancy during chemotherapy it is important to use reliable contraception. If the patient intends to have children after treatment, he should tell the doctor to discuss all possible consequences of chemotherapy for fertility. Men undergoing chemotherapy, when intercourse must use condoms, because drug may be contained in the sperm.
In women during chemotherapy may disappear or change monthly cycle, you may experience dryness in the vagina. Some women noted decrease in a sexual inclination. In men with chemotherapy may experience difficulties achieving orgasm and the occurrence of erections, interest in sex may decrease significantly.
Stomatitis after chemotherapy occurs in 7-10 days: in the mouth there is burning sensation and sores, dryness. When eating, you change the taste of familiar food.
For the prevention of stomatitis in chemotherapy need to take care of your mouth: brush your teeth after every meal using a soft toothbrush. At the onset of stomatitis, you need to give up the foods may irritate the mucous membrane of the mouth: citrus juice, alcohol, sodas. It is also better to quit Smoking.
Lack of appetite
Loss of appetite is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. In the treatment of cancer patient is very important to obtain balanced nutritious food. Therefore, even if no appetite, you need to eat enough food and fluids that the body had enough energy for life.