Friday, 16 December 2011

Breast Cancer Chemotherapy

The most common treatment for any type cancer is chemotherapy. Even when surgery is required in a cancer treatment, it is accompanied by a dose of chemotherapy before as well as after the surgery. Chemotherapy is also prescribed in breast cancer. Since chemotherapy kills the rapidly dividing cancer cells in the body, it also affects those healthy cells that divide rapidly (includes cells of intestine track, nose, mouth, hair, etc).

These healthy cells repair the damage caused to them by chemotherapy but it takes time. In the mean while the body may show some side effects due to the administration of chemotherapy over these healthy cells. Especially in case of breast cancer, a woman may show various side effects that may range from nausea, weight change, anemia to menopause.  We have discussed some of these chemotherapy side effects along with helpful tips to combat the same.

Menopause

In breast cancer chemotherapy, menopause is the most common symptom, as the cells in the ovaries grow rapidly. As a result a woman may experience temporary menopause as long as the chemotherapy treatment continues. But, there is an exception to this situation. If a women is near the age of natural menopause, then after going through the  treatment, she may experience the permanent menopause. This may not happen in the case of a woman who is far from her age of natural menopause..

Anemia/weakness

Chemotherapy affects the red blood cells, due to which one may suffer from anemia and consequently weakness. The red blood count which lowers down due to the treatment must be refilled with natural diet that is rich in iron. Vegetables like carrot, spinach, etc are rich in iron. One can also take milk and eggs. It is very important that one must take good care of diet at this time. Even if you are unable to have full meal at one time, take small meals but frequently. Sufficient rest must be accompanied along with the diet.


Weight change

This is one of the most common breast cancer chemotherapy symptoms. Due to stress, effect of medicine and change in diet, a person may experience weight gain or loss. If a woman feels that she has lost too much weight, it is suggested that she must follow a high protein diet. If the woman is experiencing weight gain, then she must go to the doctor to seek some medical advice for the same. A registered dietician may also help her in the same situation.

Hair fall

In breast cancer chemotherapy, hair fall is the most serious problem that women face. The best way to deal with this situation is to apply an ice pack on the scalp half an hour before the chemo treatment starts. You also need to continue the ice pack half an hour after the treatment.

Chemotherapy side effects are quite common in the treatment. If one is facing severe side effects that is causing concerned discomfort, please seek medical advice immediately.

3 comments:

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