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How To Cope With Chemotherapy Side Effects
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Chemotherapy is a medical treatment that makes use of anti-cancer drugs to cure cancer cells. This procedure has been used for several years. While it can be quite effective, it brings side effects because chemotherapy medicines do not only reach cancer cells but also all areas of the body. These include fatigue, dry mouth, nerve changes, and skin and nail damage. For these reasons, you, as cancer patient, should prepare yourself for these. Here are some ways on how to cope with chemotherapy side effects:
Perform some exercises.
Fatigue is among the side effects of chemotherapy. You think it best to just stay at home, sit back and relax and never work out as you may feel more tired. However, you have no idea that performing light to moderate exercise routines can help cancer patients like you to feel a lot better as it gives you more energy. You may opt to walk every day around the neighborhood. Ask a family member to accompany you.
Keep yourself hydrated.
Medicines for chemotherapy can make your mouth dry. An additional way on how to cope with chemotherapy side effects is to drink one and a half liter of fluid each day. Make sure that wherever you are, you have a drink ready for you to sip. Drink water and milk. You can also enjoy a glass full of vegetable and fruit juices.
Keeping yourself hydrated can also be your way of combating diarrhea, which may happen a few days after the chemotherapy. But if you know that your fluid intake is not sufficient, you can ask for medicine so you can manage diarrhea. For the meantime, you may also stay away from cereals, raw fruits and vegetables.
Protect your skin.
Expect skin and nail problems to arise after undergoing treatment. Learn how to take care of your skin and nails. Give attention to skin rashes and itchiness. If you suffer from these, avoid swimming as chlorinated water may make things worse. Apply moisturizing cream (choose the product that has no perfume or scent) to prevent skin dryness. If you are also undergoing radiotherapy, do not apply cream or lotion right on the skin surfaces being treated with it without getting the advice of your doctor. In case you lose your hair from treatment, use sun cream on your head. As for the nails, apply nail oils or any moisturizing cream if they turn flaky.
Work on some things to prevent nerve damage.
You may notice that as you take drugs for chemotherapy your hands and feet begin to feel numb. You may also feel like you are being pricked by needles and pins. Never worry because as the treatment ends, you will see improvement in your nerves. Reach your healthcare professional for medical advice. You may also consider performing light exercises, if possible. Keep your hands and feet warm. Use moisturizing cream or lotion to make your skin soft as well. Keep yourself busy by chatting with friends to lighten your emotional burden triggered by the said nerve changes.
The list above includes only some of the methods on how to cope with chemotherapy side effects. You may consult with your healthcare specialist on ways to manage the others that you experience.
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