Ways to cope with the side effects of chemotherapy! Warnings and recommendations

The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer Side effects is happening. This creates a process that frightens most patients and sometimes even leads to rejection of treatment. However, thanks to the developments experienced, these side effects, 90% of which are mild, are not permanent. Also with some small but effective formulas chemotherapy It is much easier to deal with the side effects of treatment. One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy nausea and vomiting In the first days of over the counter treatment, eat light, then protein-containing foods and drink plenty of water. Stay away from people who cough and sneeze, especially in winter, as the immune system will weaken.

But do not limit your normal life, go for a walk in sunny weather. Shorten your hair against the risk of shedding and remember that it will grow back after the treatment is over. Use a soft-tipped toothbrush against mouth sores, gargle with carbonated water. If you are of productive age and are considering having children, save the ovaries and sperm to avoid infertility. prof. Dr. Mustafa Yaylacı talked about the latest developments in chemotherapy treatment and ways to cope with the side effects of treatment:

What is chemotherapy? How is it applied, what are the side effects?

Cancer cells divide and multiply more than normal cells. ‘medication’ or ‘Chemical therapy’ is a treatment method developed based on this principle in chemotherapy. Cancer cells that multiply uncontrollably are often destroyed by the body’s mechanism, but some cells can escape. These cells, which go and settle in another place, start to revive after a while (3 – 6 – 12 months, etc.). Classical chemotherapy tries to destroy these proliferating cells.

It has 50 years of history

Over the years, progress has been made in chemotherapy treatment, which affects proliferating cells and has a history of 70 years. Considering the proliferation times of cancer, classical chemotherapy schemes with combined drugs emerged. It has been found that which drugs are good for which disease group with the scientific research method for 50 – 70 years in chemotherapy. Studies on the subject are still in progress. There are hundreds of known drugs and their combinations.

These are applied ready-made. Drugs are selected according to the patient’s age, kidney and heart function. In short, treatment methods that have been prepared and proven for years are applied. chemotherapy protocols

Physician experience is also important

In addition to these protocols, medications are given according to the experience of the physician and the condition of the patient. The frequency and duration of chemotherapy are adjusted according to the type of cancer, the effects of the treatment developed, the formulation of the drug, the disappearance of side effects on the body and the recovery time of blood cells.

Although classical chemotherapies are mostly given with serum, there are also types given by tablets. Tablet treatments can be applied every day, but those given with serum are repeated weekly or every 3-4 weeks. Periods corresponding to 3-4 weeks are called a ‘cure’, that is, ‘healing’, and these ‘cures’ are applied for an average of six months.

Side effect management in cancer patients; nausea and vomiting treatments

Effective in all types of cancer

The effect rates of chemotherapy treatment used in almost all types of cancer differ. Most of the time, it is aimed to prolong the life of the patient or the complaints such as pain and shortness of breath that impair the daily activities of the patient are tried to be corrected. In cancer types that can be cured (some of testicular or ovarian cancers, some of lung cancers, lymphoma, leukemia), the patient can now live disease-free. In others, the aim is to prolong the patient’s life expectancy.

90 percent of the side effects in treatment are temporary

Much work has been done to eliminate the side effects of chemotherapy and many progress has been made in this regard. Drug-related research is also being done, but developments in chemotherapy are now incomparably less than targeted drugs.

Patients undergoing chemotherapy should not panic first. Chemotherapy is no longer something to be afraid of. What was feared in chemotherapy was actually side effects. It used to be much more difficult to deal with these side effects, but it has become easier. Chemotherapy can have side effects such as nausea, low blood pressure, susceptibility to infection, intestinal problems, mouth sores, hair loss, numbness in hands and feet. 90% of these side effects are temporary.

Drink plenty of water against nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting may occur after chemotherapy; For this, patients should talk to their doctor or a dietitian when and what to eat. In the first days of chemotherapy, patients can be fed with lighter, then protein-containing foods.

How should cancer patients eat, what should they eat? Suggestions and alerts!

There are many claims circulating about sugar. These are a little ‘magazine’ claims. There is nothing proven about this, especially with regard to cancer. Fruits, vegetables, protein foods can be consumed. Plenty of water can be drunk. Nausea may be experienced, especially in the first two days or even up to five days. If diet and medications are not taken care of, nausea can be long-lasting with repeated treatments. This can sometimes be a really serious problem. Therefore, patients should not neglect anti-nausea medications.

Do not go into the crowds in winter, walk in the sun

Another serious side effect of chemotherapy is that it reduces the white blood cells that fight infections in our body. White blood cells fight infections in our body, so it is necessary to be careful against infections. Patients should not come together with people who cough and sneeze, especially in winter. However, they should not restrict their normal life too much. They can walk in clear, sunny weather. If they want, they can wear masks in crowded environments, hospital environments, and environments where infection may occur.

What causes nausea? What is good for nausea and vomiting?

Rarely, there may be a decrease in platelets in the blood and a tendency to bleed. Bruises, nosebleeds, bleeding gums In such cases, physicians should be consulted. Blood tests should be done regularly between treatments. Attention should be paid to low blood pressure, infection should be avoided and care should be taken for bleeding. Fatigue may be due to anemia. This problem can be resolved with blood drugs or blood supplementation.

Lost hair grows back

Hair loss is common during chemotherapy treatment, especially in women. For this reason, it is recommended that female patients shorten their hair during treatment. After the treatment ends, the hair starts to grow again. Generally, methods that prevent hair loss are not recommended. In rare cases, the physician should be consulted on this issue. Not every drug can cause hair loss.

Egg freezing against the risk of infertility

Infertility (sterility) is also one of the side effects of chemotherapy. In women and men who are fertile and of productive age, if childbirth is planned; If it is deemed necessary, it is absolutely necessary to talk to the doctor about sperm banking or the methods of storing the ovaries.

Side effects of chemotherapy and precautions to be taken

Carbonated mouthwash for mouth sores

Another condition seen during chemotherapy can be intestinal problems and mouth sores. Soft-tipped toothbrushes for mouth sores, carbonated mouthwash; For diarrhea, watery diets are recommended to replace electrolytes. This situation should be discussed with the doctor or nurse in very frequent diarrhea.

Highly recommended if there is even a small glimmer of hope

If a disease responds very well to treatment, it is necessary to force it to treat it, regardless of the age of the patient. We recommend chemotherapy to every patient, regardless of age and gender, if the disease is a good breed and will respond to treatment. We talk about benefit-harm relationships with patients and their relatives. After getting approval, we start chemotherapy treatment. Even at risk, we recommend this to patients who will achieve full well-being with treatment.




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