Side Effects Of Chemotherapy | How Long Does Chemotherapy Stay In The Body?

Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for numerous types of cancers. But it has certain side effects like most others of the kind.

They vary from person to person. The following factors also influence the complications you experience during the treatment:

Side Effects Of Chemotherapy | Does Chemo Side Effects Get Worse With Each Treatment?


Side Effects Of Chemotherapy
  • The type of cancer
  • Location
  • The medicine used
  • Its dose
  • Your physical condition

Why Side Effects

Chemotherapy is a treatment used to destroy active cells. They grow, divide and cause cancers to swell and spread. You will experience side effects when the treatment happens to damage your normal cells.

Those in your blood, mouth, hair, and digestive cells belong to this category. But there is good news. Almost all complications are treatable.

You will receive medication as part of the treatment to minimize or eliminate them. Such treatment is known as palliative or supportive care. This is an essential element of your fight against cancer.

Medical science continues to grow in this field. As a result, almost all types of chemotherapy are easier to bear at present.

Given below are the common side effects people experience during chemotherapy:

  1. Fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. Certain people feel tired all day long during the treatment. Others feel tired fast while doing their daily chores. In either scenario, doing the following will help:

  • Rest as much as possible
  • Refrain from doing things that appear too strenuous for you.
  • Try to exercise lightly. Relaxing exercises like yoga can help a lot. Doing this rejuvenates both your mind and body. Avoid pushing your body to the limit.
  • Ask your loved ones to be of support if you need assistance in your day-to-day activities.

If you are a professional, get some time off. Working part-time is highly recommended. This lets you have the rest you need.

Don’t hesitate to seek medical intervention if shortness of breath accompanies fatigue. This may indicate anemia.

  1. Chemo-brain

Known also as chemofog, this is a temporary cognitive decline. This goes away with treatment most of the time. But in certain people, this may stay there for years. If it gets severe, it adds up to the disorders like anxiety. Certain drugs used in the treatment may also cause:

  • Numbness
  • Tingling in hands and feet

Chemotherapy, in rare situations, may affect your motor and coordination skills. You may even experience balance issues.

  1. Loss of hair

Hair loss can happen at any part of your body; from eyebrows to legs. This too is temporary. And it goes away within a few weeks of the final session of the treatment. You may also experience mild skin irritations. Your specialist may prescribe a topical ointment for relief.

Loss of hair

Sensitivity to sunlight is another thing you may experience during chemotherapy. Take extra care to protect yourself from sunburns when outdoors. Wear sunscreen and long sleeve clothes.

As the treatment progresses, it starts affecting your integumentary system. Your nails become brown or yellow. Chemotherapy also stunts the growth of your nails. They become brittle and crack easily. When it grows worse, your nails get separated from the nail bed.

Care for your nails and keep them clean to protect them from infection.

  1. Chemotherapy may affect your digestive system

Mouth sores and dry mouth are the most common among the things people experience during chemotherapy. Sores may appear on your tongue, lips, throat, and gum make it difficult to have food. They may even make you prone to infection.

Chemotherapy may affect your digestive system

Metallic taste in the mouth, a yellow coating on your tongue, and loss of appetite follow suit. Food begins to taste differently and you may find yourself unable to have your meals as usual. This leads to weight loss. Certain people even experience nausea and vomiting.

Continue having nutritious foods even when you don’t feel like having them.

Chemotherapy also destroys your immune cells. As a result, you become vulnerable to infections. If infected, it lasts slightly longer than usual.

Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. And contact your healthcare provider in the instance of any infection. This way, you minimize the likelihood of serious complications.

Skin rashes, bleeding, bruising and shortness of breath are the other side effects you may experience as part of the treatment.

Chemotherapy does carry complications. But a healthy lifestyle when combined with supportive care makes you invincible to cancer.

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