Side effects of Chemotherapy ~ Health Guide

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Side effects of Chemotherapy

Written by Mystic on Monday, August 04, 2008

The most important effect of chemotherapy is that it kills cancer cells. Because normal cells are also damaged, there may be some side effects. The main areas of your body that may be particularly affected are those where normal cells rapidly divide and grow, such as your mouth, digestive system, bone marrow, reproductive system, skin and hair. Not everyone being treated with chemotherapy will have side effects. Cancer treatments produce different reactions in different people, and any reaction can vary from time to time. It may be helpful to remember that:

  • almost all side effects are temporary and will gradually disappear once the treatment has stopped.
  • precautions can be taken to prevent or reduce any side effects. Possible side effects and ways in which you can help yourself are given on pages 12-22.
  • the success of treatment is not related to the type or severity of any side effects.

If you want to know more about the specific side effects which may be caused by your own chemotherapy treatment, you should ask your doctor, pharmacist or the nurses involved in your care. They know which drugs you are taking and will be able to give you accurate information.

If you find that the treatment is making you feel unwell, do tell your doctor who may be able to give you medicines to help. Your doctor may also want to make changes to your treatment to lessen these side effects.

Many side effects only occur in the few days following drug delivery and there will be times when you feel quite well between your treatments. Although the side effects of chemotherapy may be unpleasant, they must be weighed against its expected benefits when making your decisions about treatment.

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