On dealing with the many stages of cancer, chemo therapy is one of the best as well as worst treatments to be deployed. They are generally undertaken when the cancer reaches the later stages of its cycle and/or spreads out to some vital organs that are impossible to be removed surgically. In chemo therapy, special types of drugs are either injected or taken in orally and it aims to destroy any cancerous cell that multiplies rapidly.
The main disadvantage of this process is along with the cancer cells, chemo therapy also ends up destroying any other rapidly dividing cells like blood cells, cells in the intestinal tract, nails, hair etc. Hence, chemo therapy comes up with many side effects some which get better immediately after the chemo therapy is done while some take longer and presumably years before they are completely erased. Here are few common chemo therapy side effects that are witnessed during treatment of breast cancer.
Side Effects Of Chemo Treatment On Breast Cancer
Anemia is the most common of all side effects that affects 90 percent of all cancer patients. Caused due to the drugs Abraxane, Gemzar and Halaven, this occurs due to the drugs destroying the fast multiplying red blood cells.
This in turn reduces hemoglobin quantity in our blood and thus barring oxygen from reaching into all parts of the body. Patients might observe frequents bruises, cuts or nosebleeds.
It gets to cause damage to the peripheral nervous system, about sums up neuropathy disorder. Drugs like Carboplatin, Taxol and Taxotere are responsible for this side effect.
They attack the nerves that bring messages from brain to other parts of the body like hands and legs, rendering them useful. Symptoms often include pain, occasional numbness and finally loss of touch all together.
Caused by Cytoxan, Ellence, Ixempra, etc. diarrhea sets in when the water in the intestine is not absorbed back thus forming loose watery stool frequently in a day. It is accompanied by bloating, nausea and cramps that often stretch for a long time.
While it is a temporary disorder and can be treated with proper diets and few medicines, if the side effect persists for more than 48 hours it is wise to consult a doctor right away.
While every person faces this type of problem now and again in their daily life like forgetting to switch the light off while going out or not remembering where you put the keys, memory losses may also be severe.
If a person tends to black out often or lose track of time not knowing what happened during that period it is possible that the chemotherapy hit some of the brain’s memory retentive property. In such case a patient should immediately consult a doctor before it gets worse.
Probably the first changes that are visible when a patient is undergoing cancer treatment, the hair on their body changes drastically. They may change color, thin away or fall out drastically.It occurred mainly due to Adriyamycin, Carboplatin and Cytoxan drugs, hair losses may be temporary or permanent depending on the stage. However, what one can always do is he/she could wear something warm on the head all the time to retain some of their hair.