What we can do about the side effects of Chemotherapy?November 30, 2018
Chemotherapy is a rather aggressive form of cancer treatment that most cancer sufferers are required to go through, either singularly or in combination with other treatments. Chemotherapy treatment utilizes drugs and medications to eradicate the cancer or destroy cancerous cells. In the bargain, it may also destroy the good cells, lower immunity, and cause several other side effects to surface.
There are several side effects that patients may experience during chemotherapy
- Hair loss
- Weakened immune system
- Fatigue and weakness
- Reduced appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
Given that the side effects can be quite troubling, and may reduce the quality of life, it’s important that patients and their caregivers plan in advance for these side effects and learn how to cope with them.
Go through a series of medical tests
Get a full medical check-up, conduct blood tests, and other diagnostic procedures to ensure your body is healthy enough to handle the chemotherapy medications. You may also visit a dentist and a hair specialist because the hair and teeth may be affected by the medication as well.
Plan for special dietary needs
Side effects of chemo include gut and intestinal issues, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, and a weakened immune system. Seeking help from a nutrition consultant regarding what you should and should not eat may be helpful. They will be able to guide you on what foods can aid in the recovery process, and keep your energy levels up.
Make necessary work arrangements
During the duration of chemotherapy treatment, the patient may want to take some time off work. Most patients are advised to take complete rest and avoid any mental or physical strain.
However, some may even find that work helps keep their mind of the health problems. Request your employers to adjust your schedule and allow flexible timings during your treatment.
Join a support group
There are several cancer communities, associations, and support groups that bring victims and survivors together to give them a space to share stories and experiences. Such groups give people the strength and courage to fight the disease. One may even consult a therapist or counsellor to address any fears about the disease, the treatment, or its side effects.
Make financial arrangements
The cost of chemotherapy treatment for cancer may vary from case to case depending on the severity, stage, type and the prognosis for treatment. Even a few cycles of chemo treatment along with medical test and doctors’ fees, may run into several lakhs. Crowdfunding India has been a beacon of hope for people who need financial assistance for medical treatment.
There are several crowdfunding India platforms that offer fundraising services for cancer patients to get the medical and financial help they need.