Learn of the various side effects of chemotherapy.
As cancer cells grow and multiply faster than other cells in the body, those who have cancer are often prescribed chemotherapy treatments to help eliminate cancer cells throughout the body.
While chemotherapy is not the only treatment option for treating cancer, it is widespread depending on the type of cancer the patients have.
This article is intended to inform people of the various side effects of chemotherapy to physically, mentally, and emotionally prepare for their journey to recovery.
Why Do People Experience Side Effects of Chemotherapy?
Before looking at the side effects of chemotherapy, it is important to understand why people experience side effects from the treatment drug.
As we mentioned, cancer cells grow and multiply faster than any other cells in the body. So, Chemotherapy is, therefore, administered to kill the growing cells.
However, in the process, the body’s healthy cells undergo damage from the treatment, which in turn causes the patients to experience side effects.
These side effects can vary from patient to patient and in severity. Side effects can also vary between male and female patients due to hormone levels within the body. While some side effects are treatable, others may cause other complications in the body.
How Chemotherapy is Administered to the Patient
Depending on the patient, various forms of chemotherapy treatment can be administered to the patient, including:
- Pill form
- Intravenous infusions
- Creams for specific forms of skin cancer
Chemotherapy Treatment Frequency
The frequency of chemotherapy treatment and the type of administration of the treatment will be discussed with the doctor and the patient and is unique to each individual’s circumstances.
Typically, chemotherapy doses will vary as the patient needs to recover between treatments. The length of time is, therefore, dependent on how well the patient responds to the treatment.
Chemotherapy Treatment Locations
Again, depending on the type of chemotherapy your doctor has chosen to treat you with, treatment will either occur at your doctor’s office, a hospital, or at home if you are taking the pill form of the treatment.
What are the side effects of chemotherapy?
The side effects of chemotherapy are divided into two parts
Short Term Chemotherapy Side Effects
Commonly experienced short-term side effects of chemotherapy drug treatment that are treatable, this effects according to Canser.com website are:
- Bruising of the body
- Hair loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Bleeding disorders
- Generalized pain throughout the body
- Loss of appetite
- Sores in the mouth and the throat
- Weight fluctuations
- Changes in your mood
- Changes to your sexual functioning
- Generalized weakness
- Experiences of depression and anxiety
- Loss of balance
- Shaking and trembling
Long Term Chemotherapy Side Effects
On the other hand, many cancer patients experience serious long term side effects of the chemotherapy drug treatment, including:
- Damage to the kidneys
- Damage to the heart
- Damage to the lungs
- Nerve damage
- Increased chances of getting a second form of cancer
Read also side effects of radiation therapy
Keep Record of Your Side Effects
Keeping records of your side effects from the chemotherapy treatment can help detail your experiences so you can speak with your doctor.
Once they know of the side effects, they will provide you with coping mechanisms that will help subside the effects to begin to feel better. Remember, it is better to be as open and honest with your doctor throughout your treatment process as they will assist you with any problems you may be experiencing.
As you can see, chemotherapy has many side effects that will vary in severity depending on each patient’s unique circumstances. When speaking with your oncologist, it is essential to ask as many questions as possible, including what side effects you may experience depending on the treatment plan they have administered.
Although chemotherapy’s side effects can be physically, mentally, and emotionally challenging, it is essential to remember that there are ways to manage the symptoms to minimize the adverse effects on a patient’s overall quality of life.
All cancer treatment centers will also provide therapy and coping mechanisms for patients to help them overcome their side effects and deal with their mentality throughout the process. It is crucial to remain as positive as possible when going through chemotherapy treatments.