Side effects of Chemotherapy

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It is very difficult to envisage the exact side effects of chemotherapy before the treatment begins. Although there are some common signs of the treatment, patients experience various symptoms depending on the severity of their condition, the dose of medication and the location of cancer.

Veröffentlicht in: Gesundheitswesen, Gesundheit & Medizin
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Side effects of Chemotherapy

  1. 1. A F F E C T I N G H U N D R E D S O F P A T I E N T S SIDE EFFECTS OF CHEMOTHERAPY
  2. 2. It is very difficult to envisage the exact side effects of chemotherapy before the treatment begins. Although there are some common signs of the treatment, patients experience various symptoms depending on the severity of their condition, the dose of medication and the location of cancer. As we know, chemotherapy is the ultimate resort to fight cancer cells following which even the healthy cells in the body are destroyed.
  3. 3. Only a small chunk of patients have mild or few side effects from chemotherapy, and even fewer have no symptoms at all. At any given cancer treatment center in the world, you will find patients trying to cope with the side effects of chemotherapy, which includes physically as well as emotionally debilitating complications.
  4. 4. EXPERIENCING FATIGUE Fatigue is not one such symptom that you would recognize unless it is too overpowering. In case of patients undergoing chemotherapy, fatigue is not just a general feeling; as a patient, one might experience sever tiredness in doing some of the routine tasks. Light exercises might be helpful, but it is important to remember that it should be very light.
  5. 5. ANEMIA OR LOW RED BLOOD CELL COUNT Chemotherapy lowers the red blood cell count. Organs and tissues inside the body get the required oxygen from red blood cells. If the count of red blood cell goes down extremely, the body will not get adequate oxygen and anemia is the consequence. Anemic patients feel tired and that may have other symptoms like palpitations, or irregular heartbeat.
  6. 6. Chemotherapy induced anemia needs immediate treatment. Blood transfusion may be needed to improve red blood cell count. At a cancer treatment center, patients are given the necessary food and treatment to improve the condition.
  7. 7. INFLAMMATION OF THE MUCOUS MEMBRANE OR MUCOSITIS Chemotherapy attacks dividing cells like bone marrow cells, blood cells, and cells present in the mucous membranes lining the digestive system, including the esophagus, mouth, intestines, stomach and rectum to anus area. Chemotherapy is harsh enough to damage or destroy the cells in the mucous membrane. Some may experience pain while 1. Eating 2. Drinking 3. Talking.
  8. 8. APPETITE LOSS Loss of appetite becomes a common after effect of chemotherapy. Cancer cells affect the metabolism of the body, and it worsens after chemotherapy. If a patient loses appetite as a consequence of chemotherapy, it will improve as soon as the treatment is over, even though it might take some time. The effect of appetite loss and consequent loss of weight depend entirely on the chemotherapy treatment and the cancer type.
  9. 9. SKIN AND NAILS Chemotherapy sometimes affects the skin and nails. Nails become brittle and flaky. Skin may develop sensitivity and quickly affected by sunlight. Protection will be needed against sunlight.
  10. 10. COGNITIVE PROBLEMS Approximately one fifth of the patients undergoing chemotherapy have reported some cognitive problem of the other, which includes memory, thinking and attention. This can often lead to a severe impact on the mundane tasks. Symptoms could include: 1. Lack of concentration 2. Shorter span of attention 3. Memory problems 4. Comprehension problems 5. Judgment problems 6. Reasoning problems etc.
  11. 11. FERTILITY AND LIBIDO PROBLEMS For most people, chemotherapy may lead to reduced sex drive. This is a temporary phase and may return immediately after the treatment is over. Depending on medication administered, this therapy can damage male sperm. Even some females may lose libido and fertility.

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