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9 Possible Effects Because of Chemotherapy

Cancer cells divide faster than healthy cells, so chemotherapy treatment is very suitable for killing these cancer cells. Unfortunately, fast growing healthy cells can also be killed by chemotherapy. There are several types of drugs used for chemotherapy, each of which has different side effects. Everyone will also be different from receiving a chemotherapy response.

9 Possible Effects of Chemotherapy

The effect caused to each person can be triggered by several factors such as a history of previous health problems, age, and lifestyle. Maybe someone can experience tremendous pain, while in others, the drug used may not cause significant side effects.

What are the possible side effects of chemotherapy?

The effect can cause you to be stressed and overwhelmed, but often it has no serious impact on your health. The following are the effects that can be experienced by patients doing chemotherapy:

1. Fatigue

This is one of the side effects of chemotherapy. Almost everyone will feel fatigue after chemotherapy. You can identify it in a way; You really feel tired, or you are tired when doing normal daily habits. We recommend that, when facing chemotherapy, it is very important to get adequate rest. Avoid doing tasks or activities that make it difficult for you to do it.

If you like doing sports, you can still do light exercise such as walking or yoga . Exercise can generate energy, but what needs to be remembered, do not force yourself too hard. If you have a job, you can ask colleagues and colleagues, whether there is a problem or not when you work part time until chemotherapy is complete. All you need to pay attention to is that when you feel fatigue more than usual and feel your breathing start short, immediately visit a doctor.

2. Nausea and vomiting

Both of these are effects that are commonly experienced by a person when doing chemotherapy. Antiemetic treatment may be given to help control the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Possible antiemetics can be:

Shaped tablet and capsule - which can be swallowed or placed at the base of the tongue
In the form of injection

As suppositories - capsules that will be inserted through the buttocks so they can dissolve
You must still take antiemetics even when you don't feel pain, because if you stop it, the symptoms can recur. But this drug has side effects such as constipation , sleep disorders such as insomnia, headaches, and digestive disorders.

3. Hair Fall

Hair loss is a common thing when chemotherapy is treated. Normally, hair will start to fall out in the first to third weeks after the first dose starts. A person will experience obvious hair loss after one to two months. This can also affect your scalp. The collapse of the whip does not only occur in the head, but also in other parts of the body such as the arms, legs and face.

If you feel the loss is disturbing, you can talk to your medical team about it. They will help you to handle it. Some alternatives can also be done such as wearing a wig or wigs for a while. Although hair loss is disturbing, this is only temporary. Hair will grow again after treatment is complete. Some people admit that hair that grows differently from their previous hair, can have differences in color or type of hair (curly or straight).

4. Increased risk of infection

Chemotherapy can reduce your body's immunity, because white blood cells experience a decrease. Anemia can occur because the body is also lacking in producing red blood cells. You will feel tired, pale skin, difficulty thinking, feeling cold and feeling drifting. Antibiotics may be needed to reduce the risk of developing infection. You also need to do several things to protect yourself from infection, such as:

  • Maintain body hygiene. Bathing routine must always be run every day. Also make sure that clothes, towels and sheets are always washed regularly.
  • Avoid contact with people who are infected - for example infections with flu and chicken pox .
  • Clean your hands regularly with soap and hot water - you can do it after going from the toilet and before preparing food.
  • If you feel unsure, you can do a blood test to find out when you are susceptible to infection. Maybe there are other additions that your doctor will give, because there are some people who need to avoid crowded places and use public transportation after chemotherapy or when immunity weakens.

5. Anemia

In addition to decreased white blood cells, red blood cell levels also decreased. Red blood cells can carry oxygen throughout the body. If the cell drops dramatically, the body loses some oxygen and triggers anemia. Some symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Energy loss
  • Short breath
  • Irregular heartbeat

You may need a blood transfusion to increase red blood cells. Other treatments such as erythropoietin (EPO) can stimulate blood cell production. You can also eat foods rich in iron, such as:

  • Dark green vegetables
  • Iron-rich bread
  • Peas
  • Meat
  • Apricot
  • Raisins

6. Bleeding and bruising

Chemotherapy can also make you susceptible to bleeding and bruising, such as bruising on the skin, nosebleeds, and bleeding gums. You need to tell your doctor, maybe you will need more platelets.

7. Mucositis

In some cases, chemotherapy can cause inflammation of the soft lining tissue in the digestive system from the mouth to the anus, known as mucositis. Someone who gets high doses of chemotherapy can experience this. Mucositis appears 7 to 10 days after chemotherapy is performed. You will find boils in the mouth and can make you feel sick when eating.

8. Lack of memory and concentration

Some people experience weak memory and short-term concentration. You will find that your daily routine will take more time to complete. However, these symptoms will disappear after treatment is complete.

9. Fertility

Some people may lose sexual desire. This is temporary, after treatment is complete, it will return to normal. Chemotherapy can also make both men and women experience reproductive problems in the form of infertility.