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Overcoming 4 Side Effects of Chemotherapy that Commonly Occur

Each cancer patient will experience different side effects of chemotherapy, depending on the condition and type of drug given. But there are some side effects of chemotherapy that are common and this is usually a barrier to treatment. Then how to overcome the side effects of chemotherapy that appear and prevent the body's condition getting worse?

Actually, there are several types of drugs used for chemotherapy and each has a different effect. Everyone will also have different reactions and responses to chemotherapy. In general, the effects of chemotherapy on each person can be influenced by several factors such as age, lifestyle, and a history of previous health problems. Maybe someone might experience extreme pain, whereas, in others, the same drug might not cause significant side effects.

Common chemotherapy side effects and how to overcome them

1. Hair loss

Hair loss is a side effect of chemotherapy that is almost experienced by all cancer patients who undergo this treatment. Hair follicles are very vulnerable to damage, making your hair fall out easily during chemotherapy. Not a few people who are embarrassed because of experiencing this, especially for women who consider hair is his crown. Some things you can do to deal with hair loss:

  • You can still be stylish using a hat, scarf or wig - if you want. Don't be shy to try it, if you aren't ready to use it, you can discuss your psychologist or medical team first.
  • If you want to shampoo, use a shampoo that has no scent and is light on the scalp, such as baby shampoo. Use warm water when rinsing your scalp and avoid scratching when shampooing or drying your hair.
  • Avoid combing your hair too often.
  • Avoid using oil or hair cream.

2. Nausea and vomiting

As many as 70-80% of patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment experience symptoms of nausea and vomiting. The side effects of chemotherapy often arise in certain drugs, such as cisplatin. Some things that can overcome nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy are:

  • Eat a small but frequent portion, because nausea often occurs when your stomach is empty.
  • When eating food, try to chew it slowly.
  • Try to eat cold-temperature foods. Avoid warm or hot food because it will cause you to become more nauseous.
  • Don't eat foods and drinks that have different temperatures at one time.
  • Take between two meals, don't drink too much when eating. Besides drinking between 6-8 glasses per day or according to needs.

3. Anemia and fatigue

Chemotherapy drugs can also reduce the number of red blood cells until the patient has anemia. This causes your body's tissues do not get oxygen and food, causing fatigue. Usually, to deal with severe anemia, doctors will advise patients to be transfused. But some of the things you can do to relieve these symptoms are:

  • A lot of rest, like taking a nap for at least 15 minutes can help your body recover. Get to know yourself and rest before feeling tired.
  • Do light exercise. Of course, this can be done if the doctor allows.
  • Manage stress well. You can use your free time to do hobbies or things that you like so that stress will be well managed.

4. Canker sores in the mouth

Chemotherapy causes your immune system to decrease, making it very susceptible to bacterial or viral infections. Infections that often occur in cancer patients are oral infections. This infection is characterized by the emergence of canker sores in the mouth, not only one wound can even all parts of the mouth filled with wounds. Of course, this will make patients difficult to eat food, even though food can make it recover.

Here are ways to deal with mouth sores:

  • Make sure to brush your teeth at least 90 seconds every two days. Try to use a soft toothbrush.
  • Avoid consuming alcohol, spicy foods, and sour foods.
  • Use mouthwash to remove bacteria that may still be left in the mouth.

That is the 4 effects of chemotherapy that you can feel after doing this treatment method that not many people know. Please be aware of the effects of chemotherapy above. If you feel the effects of chemotherapy above and don't improve, you should immediately ask your doctor.



1. Cleveland Clinic. (2017). Radiation & Chemotherapy Side Effects

2. Eric Metcalf, M. (2017). Coping With Chemotherapy Side Effects.

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