Dr. Peush Bajpai

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Reviewed by

Dr. Peush Bajpai

HOD & Consultant - Medical Hemato Oncologist

Manipal Hospitals, Delhi

Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects: Tips And Strategies

Reviewed by:

Dr. Peush Bajpai

Posted On: Oct 19, 2023

blogs read 4 Min Read

Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects

What is Chemotherapy?

The word "chemotherapy" ("chemo") is often used when referring to medicines or drugs that treat cancer. Standard chemotherapy uses drugs that are cytotoxic, meaning they can kill tumour cells. It is given to cancer patients, who are expected to benefit from it. This evaluation and treatment is done by a  medical oncologist

Does it have Side Effects?

Yes, it can have side effects, some of which can be unpleasant. The good news is that there are many things that can be done to manage the effects of chemotherapy and most of them are reversible. By following some simple tips and strategies, you can make your chemotherapy treatment as comfortable as possible.

Common Side Effects of Chemotherapy

  • Nausea and vomiting

This is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy. There are several medications that can help to prevent or control nausea and vomiting. Your doctor can prescribe the right medication for you. Also, Patients can eat small diets at frequent intervals and should keep themselves well-hydrated.

  • Fatigue

Fatigue is another common side effect of chemotherapy. It can be difficult to manage, but there are some things you can do to help. Get plenty of rest, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. A good sleep and wake cycle is important.

  • Hair loss

Some( Not all) chemotherapy drugs can cause hair loss. This can be a difficult side effect to deal with, but it is temporary. There are several ways to cope with hair loss, such as wearing a wig or scarf.

  • Mouth sores

Chemotherapy can sometimes also cause mouth sores. These can be painful and make it difficult to eat. To help prevent mouth sores, brush your teeth regularly, use a soft toothbrush, and rinse your mouth with warm salt water.

  • Diarrhea

Chemotherapy can also cause diarrhoea. This can be uncomfortable and can lead to dehydration. To help prevent diarrhoea, eat a bland diet, drink plenty of fluids, and take over-the-counter medications as needed.

  • Constipation

Constipation is another side effect of chemotherapy. This can be uncomfortable and can make it difficult to pass stool. To help prevent constipation, eat a high-fibre diet, drink plenty of fluids, and get regular exercise.

In addition to these common side effects, chemotherapy can also cause a variety of other side effects. These side effects can vary depending on the type of chemotherapy drugs you are taking. If you are experiencing any side effects from chemotherapy, it is important to talk to your doctor. They can help you to manage the side effects and make your treatment as comfortable as possible.
Here are some additional tips for managing chemotherapy side effects:

Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects 

  • Talk to your doctor

Your doctor is your best resource for information about managing chemotherapy side effects. They can recommend medications, suggest strategies, and answer any questions you have.

  • Get support from others

Talking to other people who are going through chemotherapy can be helpful. They can share their experiences and offer advice. There are also several support groups available for people with cancer.

  • Take care of yourself

It is important to take care of yourself during chemotherapy. This includes getting enough rest, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help

If you are struggling to manage the side effects of chemotherapy, don't be afraid to ask for help from your family, friends, or healthcare team.

Managing chemotherapy side effects can be challenging, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. There are many resources available to help you. With the right support, you can get through this and win your battle against cancer. Manipal Hospitals Delhi has a clinical support staff that will help you make your healing journey seamless. 

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