Side Effects of Chemotherapy for the Body, Recognize the Symptoms! | Good Doctor
Cancer treatment often involves chemotherapy. Chemotherapy, or often called chemo, is known as a cancer treatment. However, there are also side effects of chemotherapy, you know.
So, what are the side effects of chemotherapy? Come on, see the full explanation below.
Chemotherapy side effects
Chemotherapy treatment can kill cells in the body. Including healthy cells. Damage to healthy cells is what causes side effects. Normal cells that may be damaged by chemotherapy are:
- Blood-forming cells in the bone marrow.
- Hair follicles.
- Cells in the mouth, digestive tract, and reproductive system.
Doctors usually give chemotherapy when the cancer is at a high stage. However, it is still carried out with consideration of maintaining side effects, at the minimum possible dose level.
Chemotherapy side effects
1. Weakened immune system
Chemotherapy can weaken the immune system. This is because chemotherapy kills healthy immune cells, which can make a person more susceptible to infection.
To minimize the risk of infection, try to eat healthy foods, wash your hands frequently, avoid sick people, and carry out intensive medical care.
2. Bruising and easy bleeding
Chemotherapy can cause a person to bruise or bleed more easily. Many people after undergoing chemotherapy experience this side effect.
Bleeding after undergoing chemotherapy, can be dangerous. So, it’s a good idea to take precautions to anticipate bruising and bleeding.
For example, wear gloves when gardening or use protection when using sharp tools. It’s also important to take proactive steps to reduce falls and the risk of injury.
3. Hair loss
Chemotherapy can damage hair follicles, causing hair to become weak, brittle, and fall out easily. Any hair on a limb that grows back will usually be much thinner, or a different color.
This pattern usually continues until chemotherapy ends. A study in a journal Skin Therapy Letter say that 65 percent of chemotherapy patients experience hair loss.
There is no specific treatment for preventing hair loss. However, proper hair care can slow hair loss, and promote regrowth.
4. Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting can come on suddenly, appear after each chemotherapy session, or occur randomly.
Dietary changes, such as eating less food or avoiding certain foods, can help reduce nausea and vomiting. Anti-nausea medications can also help relieve.
5. Respiratory disorders
Chemotherapy can impair lung performance, and make it more difficult for patients to get full oxygen.
Breathing problems can also be a side effect of some types of cancer. You need to stay calm, breathe deeply, and sit up while lifting your upper body with a pillow so it can help your breathing.
6. Constipation and diarrhea
Chemotherapy can trigger digestive problems because it can damage digestive cells. Another side effect of chemotherapy is nausea, forcing people to change their diet.
This sudden change can also cause digestive problems. If you have constipation, try taking constipation medications such as magnesium and drink lots of water.
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