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Chemotherapy Side Effects Treatments

  1. What is Chemotherapy?

  2. Help for Chemotherapy

  3. More Information on Chemotherapy

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What is Chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy is defined as anti-cancer drug treatment which is used to destroy cancer cells or stop them from spreading. This treatment often causes many debilitating and unpleasant side effects, and each person who undergoes treatment reacts differently. Often some people experience many side effects while others may only experience a few. Side effects are usually only short term and tend to disappear when treatment is stopped.

The main areas of the body that are affected during treatment include the digestive system, the lining of your mouth, hair and bone marrow. Healthy cells in these body parts are affected because they divide and grow quickly and can repair the damage caused by chemotherapy.

Possible side effects include:

  • Reduces the number of blood cells in the bone marrow

  • Anemia

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Hair loss

  • Diarrhea and constipation

  • Loss of appetite

  • Bleeding and bruising

  • Sore mouth leading to ulcers

  • Fatigue

  • Skin and nail changes

Chemotherapy can be used to treat on its own to treat certain types of cancer but may also be given in combination with other treatments such as surgery, radiotherapy, biological therapies, or hormonal therapies. The main aim of chemotherapy treatment is to stop the cancer cells dividing and reproducing.

It may also be given after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells or to shrink and control cancer to minimize symptoms. This type of treatment generally depends on the type of cancer that you my have, where the cancer began in the body, the appearance of the cancer cells under the microscope and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Types of chemotherapy drugs

  • Intravenous chemotherapy (drugs are injected into a vein)

  • Oral chemotherapy (drugs are given orally in the form of tablets or capsules)

  • Intramuscular injection (drugs are injected into a muscle)

  • Subcutaneous injection (drugs are injected under the skin)

  • Intrathecal chemotherapy (drugs injected into fluid around the spine)

  • Intracavity chemotherapy (drugs are injected into certain body cavities such as bladder or pelvic cavity)

  • Chemotherapy creams (applied to certain areas of the skin)

Treatment is given in a series of sessions which is followed by a rest period – this is known as a cycle of treatment.

Help for Chemotherapy

Natural remedies

Natural herbs and holistic treatments may also be used in combination with conventional medication to help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Herbal and homeopathic remedies have been known to support the body holistically, strengthen the immune system and regulate blood cell counts.

Two well known herbs such as Hypoxis Rooperi (extract of African Potato) and Mentha Piperita acts as a natural convalescent, supportive tonic and are beneficial to the immune system. Other powerful herbal ingredients such as Crataegus Oxyacanthoides, Viscum Album and Schizandra Sinesis support healthy circulation, regulate and maintain healthy energy levels, and help protect against toxins and cell damage.

Another treatment for nausea and other side effects

More Information on Chemotherapy

Tips to cope with chemotherapy

Learning to cope with and manage cancer as well as experiencing chemotherapy is not only difficult but also emotionally stressful. Follow these tips to help you deal with the side effects:

  • Eat small, well balanced meals that contain proteins and calories to help you gain weight and keep your strength up

  • Try eating foods such as soups, fruit juices, weak tea, popsicles or jelly that will not nauseate you

  • Get adequate rest – at least eight hours of sleep each night as well as short naps during the day

  • Exercise regularly by walking, cycling or doing yoga but remember not to overdo it

  • Learn to relax and do things that calms you like reading, listening to music or watching a movie

  • Use visualization, imagery and deep breathing exercises to reduce stress

  • Accept help and support from family and friends

  • Speak to someone about what you are feeling and going through – this may be a family member, friend or counselor

  • Join a support group where you can share your feelings and listen to others with the same problem.

Alpha Lipoic Acid can be beneficial when undergoing Chemotherapy as it will help to prevent nerve damage which is a common side effect. 

See Alpha Lipoic Acid/Acetyl L-Carnitine

Fish oil may reduce weight loss during chemotherapy

Weight loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy in patients with progressive cancer. This weight loss can negatively impact the patient's ability to continue with chemotherapy and may decrease survival. In a number of studies, incorporating fish oil containing DHA and EPA into the diet have suggested an increase in survival probably through reduced weight loss and protein wasting. However, three large clinical trials failed to demonstrate a clear benefit of fish oil preserving body weight in cancer patients. Confounding factors in these studies included uncertain compliance and that fish oil supplementation was started late in therapy, after the patients were already debilitated.

For complete Article - Fish Oil and Chemotherapy

For a good quality Fish Oil  high in DHA and EPA

Nausea

Try Ginger Tea

  
Homepathic remedies for the side effects. 

Anemia:

Nausea:

Skin:

And a supplement for Energy:

Nerve & Energy Booster - Click the link for information on this product. It is excellent to help regain energy.

For information about help for Nerves with the Nerve & Energy booster (which is Alpha Lipoic Acid & Acetyl L-Carnitine in one supplement. 

Read article on Acetyl L-Carnitine on Nerves

& Study of Acetyl L-Carnitine on Nerves

Add the Nerve & Energy Booster to the WSN Nerve Support Formula for nerve damage.  Read helping Neuropathy: Chemotherapy Neuropathy

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