Chemotherapy is a treatment widely used for cancer. Chemotherapy uses anti cancer drugs, to target the cancer cells. Sadly, they also affect healthful cells which is the reason adverse effects can happen.
You and your cancer doctor (oncologist) will decide what drug or combination of drugs you will get. Your doctor will choose the doses, how the drugs will be given, and how often and how long you’ll get treatment. All of these decisions will depend on the type of cancer, where it is, how big it is, and how it affects your normal body functions and overall health.
Cancer can be treated with a single chemo drug, but often several drugs are used in a certain order or in certain combinations (called combination chemotherapy). Different drugs that work in different ways can work together to kill more cancer cells. This can also help lower the chance that the cancer may become resistant to any one chemo drug.
Sometimes chemo is the only treatment you need. More often, chemo is used with surgery or radiation therapy or both. Here’s why:
- Chemo may be used to shrink a tumor before surgery or radiation therapy. Chemo used in this way is called neoadjuvant therapy.
- It may be used after surgery or radiation therapy to help kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemo used in this way is called adjuvant therapy.
- It may be used with other treatments if your cancer comes back.
Side Effects Of Chemo
Sickness – Chemotherapy might make you vomit or feel sick. Your specialist will be capable to prescribe anti sickness drugs to reduce this side effect.
Diarrhoea or constipation – The drugs may affect the gut of your kid works resulting in diarrhoea or constipation. Laxatives or diarrhoea drugs could help this.
Tiredness – You may feel tired and for many months afterwards. They can need to rest more frequently and cut back on activities.
Mouth ulcers and taste varies – The medications can lead to a sore mouth or mouth ulcers. You can also experience a sour taste in their mouth. These issues should vanish as soon as they finish treatment, but in the meantime it is important to look by assessing their mouth for sores, having dental checkups and brushing their tooth, but softly.
Changes in appetite – You may discover their routine shift, or that your child does not look like eating during their treatment. It’s really important for them to drink lots of fluid to keep during their treatment and to keep their weight.
Loss of baldness of hair happens after the first course of chemotherapy. Many people might lose all of their hair, others might find it is thinning or falls out in patches. Your hair will start to grow back once their therapy has stopped.
Skin problems – Chemotherapy could make your skin very sensitive to the sun and chemicals like the chlorine in pools. Your skin might develop a rash or change color.
Blood varies – Chemotherapy also affects the bone marrow in bones. This is where your blood cells are made. Whenever your kid has chemotherapy, the number of blood cells they’ve in their body will drop.
Low number of red blood cells – A low number of red blood cell count called anaemia. You cannot have a transfusion of white blood cells, so your kid needs to take extra care to avoid infections while their body creates some more. This means avoiding crowded places and individuals who’re sick, and attempting to keep themselves as healthful as possible.