The side effects of chemotherapy for treating breast cancer vary from person to person. The exact effect usually depends upon the dose of the chemotherapy drug. Fortunately, most side effects could be managed with medication and lifestyle modifications.
Side Effects Of Chemotherapy For Breast Cancer Treatment
Nausea And Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are common side effects of chemotherapy. It could be alleviated by drinking ginger ale or ginger tea. Avoid large meals. Eat five to six small meals throughout the day. Avoid oily foods. Include dry and bland foods such as toast, crackers, dry cereals, plain rice, noodles and fruits in your daily diet.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly after each meal. Drink sufficient water and clear liquid such as broth, soups and juices. This helps to reduce any bad taste in the mouth. Sucking peppermint candy also suppresses bad taste.
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Excessive hair loss is extremely stressful for any woman. Although the hair might grow back after the treatment is stopped, nonetheless, you can consider covering the bald patch on your head with a wig.
Breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment are frequently overwhelmed with fatigue. Lack of energy, oversleeping, poor concentration and trouble in speaking are common signs of fatigue. Complementary and holistic treatments can alleviate fatigue and boost stamina.
Meditation, yoga and tai chi are beneficial for breast cancer patients bothered by physical weakness and mental stress. Regular exercises, at least for four hours per week, are essential for enhancing the quality of life of the breast cancer patients. Eating a healthy diet helps to fight fatigue.
The diet of a breast cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy treatment should contain whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. To rebuild the tissues, breast cancer patients should eat 0.5 gram of protein for each pound of body weight. Fatigue is worsened by dehydration. Therefore, drink enough water and clear fluid.
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Chemotherapy treatment might destroy the red blood cells, leading to anemia. Anemia could be treated by boosting the iron reserve of the body by eating sufficient iron rich foods. Lean meat, eggs, lentils, peanuts, almonds and leafy green vegetables are common sources of iron. Breast cancer patients should also increase consumption of vitamin B12 rich foods such as fish, seafood and organ meat.
Chemotherapy drugs suppress the immune system, increasing the risk of oral infections and mouth sores. To reduce the pain and irritation caused by the mouth and throat sores, breast cancer patients on chemotherapy should avoid sour and spicy foods and drinks. Risk of developing mouth sores might be decreased by rinsing the mouth with saline water.
Changes In Taste And Smell
Any change in taste and smell that might occur after chemotherapy treatment could be managed by changing the diet. Try new foods. Sucking ice chips and rinsing the mouth with water mixed with baking soda might help to clear the taste buds. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and cold foods such as cottage cheese and yogurt. Avoid canned and frozen foods.
Breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment are vulnerable to infections. The risk of infections could be minimized by avoiding contact with sick people, frequently washing the hands with soap and water, brushing the teeth with a soft brush at least twice a day and eating food prepared under hygienic conditions.