Side Effects of Cancer Treatment
Cancer treatment may lead to a variety of side effects. These occur when the treatment effects the healthy cells or involves the removal of organs from the body. It’s important to note that side effects can vary from person to person due to individual differences. Anyone who finds herself facing any of the following side effects, it is advisable to seek guidance from a cancer specialist who can provide expert assistance and support.
This happens when the white blood cells in your body that fight off infections, become fewer. The medicines used to treat cancer work by killing the fast-growing cells in your body, including both the bad cancer cells and the good white blood cells. When you have these treatments, your white blood cells might drop below the usual amount, making it easier for infections to sneak in. To help prevent this, try washing your hands a lot while you’re getting treated. Also, talk to your doctor about other things you can do to avoid getting sick.
If you undergo surgery where lymph nodes are removed or receive radiation treatment that damages a lymph node or vessel, the lymph fluid might struggle to drain properly. As a result, this fluid might accumulate underneath your skin and within your body, leading to swelling. This condition is medically termed as lymphedema.
Certain types of chemotherapy can make your hair fall out. This is called alopecia. Usually, your hair will start growing again around two to three months after treatment is done.
Some patients decide to shave their head before their hair falls out. Others wear things like wigs, hats, or scarves while they’re getting chemotherapy. You might also use a cooling cap. This cap helps to keep your your scalp cold before, during, and after your chemotherapy session. It might help you keep more of your hair.
Nausea and Vomiting
When you’re getting treated for cancer, you might feel like your stomach is upset and you could even vomit. Sometimes, just thinking about the treatment can make you feel this way.
But here’s the bright side: there are medicines that can help calm your stomach and make you feel better. And there are also different ways to handle this feeling. Some people try relaxing methods, like taking deep breaths, hypnosis (a kind of deep focus), or even acupuncture (tiny needle taps). If you’re curious about any of these things, just talk to your doctor and ask if they might be helpful for you.
Thinking and Remembering Issues
The medicines used for treating cancer might make it tough for some people to pay attention or remember things. People sometimes call this “chemo brain,” and it can make doing jobs or daily things hard for cancer patients. To deal with this, you can try getting good sleep, moving your body around, writing down your daily plans, and using your phone to remind you. It also helps to do one thing at a time instead of many things all together.
Having cancer or getting treatments for it might bring pain. This pain can make it tough to do your usual things and can make your life not feel so good. Making the pain better is an important part of your cancer treatment plan. If you’re feeling pain, talk to your doctor or a Surgical Oncologist.
They will find out why you’re having pain and the best way to make it feel better.
Blood Clots (Deep Vein Thrombosis)
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, happens when a blood clot forms inside a deep vein. These clots often form in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, and sometimes in the arm. Sometimes, a DVT piece might break off and move to the lungs. People with cancer, especially those having chemotherapy, have a bigger chance of getting DVT than others.