5 Ways To Lessen the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

5 Ways To Lessen the Side Effects of Chemotherapy

One of the most deadliest diseases present today is cancer. Nearly ten million people died in 2020 due to cancer. There are over 200 types of cancer, but the most common are breast cancer, leukemia, pancreatic cancer, lymphoma, melanoma, and colorectal cancer.

Chemotherapy is one of the most effective cancer treatments available. It works by killing the cancer cells present in the body. Unfortunately, as these powerful drugs kill cancer cells, there’s also a possibility that it affects the healthy cells by dividing them. These cause side effects like fatigue, mouth sores, nausea, diarrhea, and hair loss.

The side effects, symptoms, and severity usually depend on what drugs are used in the chemotherapy and how the body reacts to them. Fortunately, there are already available means to manage and mitigate these unwanted side effects. 

Take Medication

One of the side effects of chemotherapy is nausea and vomiting. It is because, during chemotherapy, the areas of the brain that control nausea or the cells lining in the mouth, stomach, throat, and intestines are irritated. 

A person undergoing chemotherapy doesn’t need to panic or fear because medical professionals already have many anti nausea drugs that can control and even eliminate nausea and vomiting. 

Among the usually prescribed are Ondansetron HCL, Dimenhydrinate, and Meclizine. You can check ahead of time the Ondansetron HCL Pricing, Dimenhydrinate Pricing, and Meclizine Pricing to determine which one is more affordable. There are also discount coupons that you can avail to save on money.

Moreover, when having chemotherapy, there’s also a possibility that the person experiences diarrhea. In order to combat loose or watery bowel movements, it’s advisable to drink over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medication like Imodium A-D (loperamide) and Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate). 

Just make sure that the doctor overlooking the chemotherapy treatment does not prohibit from taking these kinds of medication.

Have Enough Rest

A person undergoing chemotherapy will likely feel fatigued afterward, as it is its most common side effect. The chemo-induced fatigue makes them feel tired, weak, and without energy. It tends to be cyclic as they’ll feel most tired days after the treatment and would eventually decrease until the next one.

Whenever they feel tired, it’s advisable to take a rest break. A 15 to 20 minutes short nap will not only help with fatigue throughout the day but also help improve sleep at night. Remember that having a long rest period wouldn’t have the same effect as having numerous short naps.

Eat Healthy Food

When having chemotherapy, it is essential to eat healthy food continuously. They’ll need as many nutrients and vitamins as possible since their body takes powerful drugs to kill cancer cells.

They need to avoid greasy food like fried chicken so that they’ll manage nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Spicy foods like salsa and curry dishes, high-fiber foods such as whole-grain loaves of bread and beans, and high-fat foods like butter and sauces must be avoided to manage diarrhea.

Moreover, the person undergoing chemotherapy should eat small meals throughout the day. They’re also encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables to lessen constipation. 

Drink a lot of Water

Drinking a lot of water is the most common way to lessen the numerous side effects of chemotherapy. It’s essential for a person undergoing chemotherapy to drink eight to ten glasses of water every day to manage fatigue, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, and loss of appetite.

It’s also advisable not to drink any drink with caffeine, such as coffee, tea, and soda. Drinking non-caffeinated liquids like juices diluted with water or liquids containing electrolytes like Pedialyte, Gatorade, and Powerade would be better.

Keep Body Clean

A person undergoing chemotherapy must always keep their body clean to mitigate and manage its side effects. This ensures no other bacteria or harmful substance will attach to the person.

For example, they’ll need to rinse their mouth every four to six hours using an alcohol-free mouthwash and use a soft toothbrush for the teeth and gums to lessen mucositis. This side effect is the swelling, redness, tenderness, or sores found in the mouth, tongue, or lip. Mucositis usually starts three to ten days after the person’s first chemotherapy.

Moreover, always wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds, especially before eating meals and after using the bathroom or shaking hands. This helps in mitigating the risk of having infections due to neutropenia. Neutropenia is caused by having a low number of neutrophils in the blood due to a weak immune system after chemotherapy.

Furthermore, when experiencing hair thinning or hair loss two to four weeks after the first chemotherapy, it’s essential that the person undergoing it wash and condition their hair every two to four days. They’ll need to use a baby or mild shampoo and a cream rinse or hair conditioner with sunscreen. 

These products together will help prevent the sun from damaging the scalp and prevent future infections.

Final Thoughts

Having cancer is already one of the most challenging tasks a person can face. Undergoing chemotherapy to treat cancer would be another tough task since they’ll experience numerous side effects after the treatment. Fortunately, there are now already available means to mitigate and manage these unwanted side effects of chemotherapy.

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