Standard Drawbacks Tied to Chemotherapy Treatments

Oct 9 08:12 2008 Trevor Price Print This Article

Chemotherapy effects vary from patient to patient. The extent, type and length of any side effects often depend on the type of drugs used, the dosage and the overall well-being of the patient.

Chemotherapy effects can be intense depending on the types of drugs being administered,Guest Posting the dose and the general vitality of the patient. Healthy cells that reproduce rapidly, like the cells in the bone marrow, stomach, mouth, hair and intestines, are very susceptible to the damage caused by chemotherapy. This is why so many of the side effects of chemotherapy impact these areas of the body. 

And while one individual may experience certain and strong discomforts, another may have no difficulty at all. The effects of chemotherapy depend not only on your dosage, illness and drug, but also on your own physical strength and current health. The noticeable impacts can also vary in their intensity or change over the course of your chemotherapy treatment.

So, while the chemotherapy effects listed here are common - they're not automatic, nor are they standard. Remember, each person has differing experiences.

Upset Stomach and Vomiting

An upset stomach, feelings of nausea or vomiting are some of the most common drawbacks associated with chemotherapy treatments. Many of the drugs used in various treatments sessions actually stimulate the chemoreceptor trigger zone of the brain - an area that controls the vomiting reflex.

If nausea or vomiting are going to occur, it typically starts just a few hours after the treatment is completed and lasts for a short period.

Diarrhea or Loose Stools

Having loose or watery stools more than three times a day is diarrhea and a common result of chemotherapy. The drugs attack the frequently reproducing cells that line your intestines - therefore inhibiting their ability to do their job. Diarrhea is often intermittent, but if it continues for more than a few days, you should consult with your doctor immediately.

Sores in the Mouth

Because cells on the inside of the mouth are some of the fastest to regenerate in the body, they are the ones most susceptible to damage from chemotherapy. As a result, sores can develop, leading to possible infection and other problems. The esophagus is also vulnerable. A good defense is persistent oral hygiene.

Milk of magnesia can help to both soothe and dry out mouth soft sores. Doctors also recommend gargling with salt water and eating softer foods at or below room temperature. Avoid hot and spicy foods.

Hair Loss

Not every chemotherapy program causes the patient to lose their hair. Some drugs lead to hair loss, other's only cause a minimal amount and some don't result in it at all. Certain people lose only their head hair, and others lose hair from all over their bodies. Like every other symptom, the visible results depend on the patient, the drug and the dosage.

Hair loss won't happen immediately and typically starts gradually, eventually escalating to hair coming out in larger clumps. It is one of the most dreaded chemotherapy effects, but it's also temporary.

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Trevor Price
Trevor Price

For great information on various cancers, see, a popular site providing symptoms and treatments insights, such as breast cancer stages -, facts about lung cancer -, and many more!

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