1st chemo treatment side effects

Chemotherapy is an important treatment for a variety of cancers. However, it, like other therapies, is prone to side effects. Chemotherapy has a variety of side effects that vary from person to person. They are determined by the type of cancer, its location, the medications used and their dosage, as well as your overall health.

What causes the side effects of chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy targets living cells. Active cells are those that divide and expand into more of the same kind of cell. Some healthy cells, as well as cancer cells, are alive. Cells in your blood, mouth, digestive system, and hair follicles are examples. Chemotherapy causes side effects when healthy cells are damaged.

Is it possible to treat side effects?

Yes, indeed. Many side effects can be prevented or treated with the assistance of your health care team. Far more treatments with side effects are available today than in the past. Palliative care, also known as compassionate care, is the prevention and treatment of side effects. It is an important component of cancer care.

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Doctors and scientists are actively working to create new medications, medication formulations, and treatment methods with less side effects. Chemotherapy is now much more tolerable than it was only a few years ago.

What are common side effects of chemo?

Most people are concerned about whether they will experience chemo side effects and, if so, what they will be like. Here are some of the more common chemotherapy side effects:

  • Fatigue
  • Hair loss
  • Easy bruising and bleeding
  • Infection
  • Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite changes
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Mouth, tongue, and throat problems such as sores and pain with swallowing
  • Peripheral neuropathy or other nerve problems, such as numbness, tingling, and pain
  • Skin and nail changes such as dry skin and color change
  • Urine and bladder changes and kidney problems
  • Weight changes
  • Chemo brain, which can affect concentration and focus
  • Mood changes
  • Changes in libido and sexual function
  • Fertility problems

Impact on the nervous system: Nerve damage is a side effect of certain medications. The following nerve or muscle symptoms can occur as a result of this:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Weakness or numbness in the hands, feet, or both
  • Weak, sore, tired, or achy muscles
  • Loss of balance
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Stiff neck or headache
  • Problems seeing, hearing, or walking normally
  • Feel clumsy

These symptoms usually get better with a lower chemotherapy dose or after treatment. But damage is sometimes permanent.

Changes in thinking and memory. Chemotherapy can make it difficult for certain people to think clearly and concentrate. Chemobrain is a term used by cancer survivors to describe this condition. It’s possible that the doctor would refer to it as cognitive changes or cognitive disorder.

Sexual and reproductive health concerns. Chemotherapy has the potential to impair your fertility. This refers to a woman’s capacity to conceive and bear a baby. Fertility refers to a man’s ability to get a woman pregnant. Tiredness or illness as a result of cancer or treatment can also make it difficult to enjoy sex. Before beginning treatment, discuss these potential side effects with your doctor.

Before beginning chemotherapy, women may need a Pap test. A Pap test is a procedure that collects a sample of cells from the cervix. Chemotherapy can cause test results to be inaccurate.

Chemotherapy can also affect a fetus, or unborn child. This is particularly true during the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs are still forming. Using good birth control if you’re at risk of becoming pregnant while undergoing care.

Loss of appetite. You may eat less than normal, or you may not feel hungry at all, or you may feel full after just a small amount of food. You will lose weight and not get the nutrients you need if this persists during treatment. It’s also possible that you’ll lose muscle mass and strength. All of this makes it more difficult to recover from chemotherapy.

Hair loss is a common occurrence. Chemotherapy can cause hair loss all over your body in some cases. It could come out in small clumps or in big clumps. After the first few weeks of chemotherapy, hair loss is common. It usually rises after 1 to 2 months of treatment. Based on the medications and doses you’re taking, your doctor will predict the risk of hair loss.

Heart health is important. Chemotherapy can damage your heart in some cases. Checking the heart until treatment may be beneficial. Doctors would be able to say whether the procedure causes complications later on. An echocardiogram is a standard test (echo). Ultrasound waves are used to create a moving image of the heart in this examination.

Long-term side effects. The majority of side effects subside after surgery. Some, on the other hand, continue, return, or grow later. Some forms of chemotherapy, for example, can damage the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, or reproductive system permanently. After medication, some people have difficulty thinking, focusing, and remembering for months or years.

After treatment, changes in the nervous system can occur. Chemotherapy patients can experience long-term side effects months or years after treatment. These are referred to as late results. Cancer survivors are also more likely to develop secondary cancers later in life.

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1st chemo treatment side effects