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7 Side Effects of Chemotherapy Drugs

  • Side effects are common with the use of many chemotherapy drugs. Whether patients are undergoing mild Doxil chemotherapy or heavy treatments of Cisplatin chemotherapy side effects should be expected but can be dealt with to make therapy less intrusive
  • Patients undergoing Taxotere chemotherapy and should expect to experience some of the more common side effects caused by chemotherapy treatment
  • Anemia is one of the more common side effect of chemotherapy and can be seen in patients undergoing Adjuvant chemotherapy and even Mesothelioma chemotherapy
  • With all chemotherapy drugs, even Adriamycin chemotherapy, side effects will occur, but do not have to stop life from going on. It is important to be aware of the possibilities but have hope that the side effects will not last forever

1. Increased chance of infection

Side Effects Of Chemotherapy

One of the possible side effects of chemotherapy that can occur in patients undergoing Cisplatin chemotherapy is an increased chance of infection in the body. When the body is weakened by harsh chemotherapy drugs that are doing their job to battle the disease, infection can occur. As with the use of Cisplatin, the production of white blood cells in the bone marrow can be reduced considerably causing an increased likelihood of infection.

2. Anemia

Anemia is just one of the many side effects of chemotherapy that patients can experience. Chemotherapy drugs can be hard on the system and cause blood cell counts to lower which then leads to anemia.

3. Increased bleeding and bruising

Some chemotherapy drugs can also reduce the platelet production in the body. Platelets are the body’s mechanism for blood clotting. When platelet levels decrease unexplained bleeding and bruising may occur.

4. Hair loss

One of the more unfortunate side effects of chemotherapy is hair loss. Hair loss with Doxil chemotherapy is mild and only occurs in approximately 19% of patients using these chemotherapy drugs. Hair loss can be prevented if patients utilize a cooling cap. The scalp cooling technique can reduce the blood flow and the levels of the drug reaching the scalp thus preventing hair loss. This technique only works with certain types of chemotherapy drugs.

5. Nausea and vomiting

Adriamycin chemotherapy can cause significant nausea and vomiting upon administering. Not all chemotherapy drugs cause sickness and some patients do not experience any nausea or vomiting. Taxotere chemotherapy is a strong therapy treatment that can cause significant side effects including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Ginger can be taken in teas and biscuits which will reduce nausea feelings and symptoms. Peppermints or teas containing peppermint can also be useful in the elimination of nausea sensations.

6. Loss of appetite and weight loss

Some chemotherapy drugs like Mesothelioma chemotherapy can cause significant loss of appetite and even weight loss. Since chemotherapy can also affect your sense of taste, it is thought that this factor can affect your appetite. If appetite is low, it is important to consult with your physician for weight monitoring. Eating several small snacks or meals throughout the day can help in preventing weight loss.

7. Tiredness and fatigue

Some patients experience fatigue and excessive tiredness during chemotherapy treatment like colorectal chemotherapy. Although doctors confess that this symptom is quite normal it can be hard on the patient who has otherwise been active and full of energy. It is important to recognize that although chemotherapy drugs like adjuvant chemotherapy may cause fatigue, the tiredness will eventually wear off once treatment has ended. It has been reported that normalcy can take as little as three months or as long as one year after the halt of chemotherapy drugs.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.