Chemotherapy : About
Chemotherapy is a treatment type which is used to stop the growth of cancer cells. This is one of the most common type of therapy used for the treatment of cancer. Chemotherapy which is also known as chemo is targeted to treat cancer cells by either stopping their growth or reducing their spread to other cells. Chemotherapy is a part of the systematic therapy which is known to have a major or minor effect on your body.
Chemotherapy : Effects
Chemotherapy has different effects on both cancer and non-cancer cells. Of course the effect on cancer cells is positive but if you consider the effect on non-cancer cells then it can be major sometimes. Chemotherapy can have effects on different blood cells in your body. Let’s have a look at how they effect different kind of blood cells :
- White Blood Cells : White blood cells protect the body from infection. A low white blood cell count is known as neutropenia. And if the red blood cell count decreases rapidly in your body then you might suffer from severe infection.
- Red Blood Cell : Low red blood cell count in your body causes iron deficiency which is also known as anemia. Anemia is extremely common and it can lead to fatigue, chest infections and even many more serious health issues.
- Platelets – Platelets are nothing but the structure in the blood which helps to stop the bleeding. If your platelet count decreases because of chemotherapy then this can cause bruising or bleeding.
Chemotherapy : Side Effects
There can be several side effects of chemotherapy. Some of the major side effects are listed as follows :
- Hair Loss – Hair loss is one of the most significant side effect of chemotherapy. This is the first thing which you will observe in a person who undergoes chemotherapy. And if the chemotherapy continues for long then hair loss can be severe which is called as alopecia.
- Nausea – Nausea and vomiting are another side effects of chemotherapy. This is again very common as your body undergoes many changes during chemo treatment. Thus, nausea and vomiting are some of the most visible signs of chemotherapy which a cancer patient goes through.
- Neutropenia – Lowering of white blood cells is termed as neutropenia. But if white blood cells reduces in number then they can pose a serious threat to your health as the body loses the power of fighting against infections.
- Memory Loss – In some people it is also observed that chemotherapy can trigger memory loss. But this is only observed when chemotherapy continues for quite a longer time. Thus, make sure that if you undergo memory loss then discuss it with your doctor.
- Mouth Infections – This is again observed when chemotherapy continues for a longer time. Mouth infections and mouth sores are quite common. This can be painful at times. Thus, make sure that you discuss it with your doctor and take proper medicines to avoid painful mouth infections.
Chemotherapy : Avoid Infections
Chemotherapy is the time when you are quite prone to infections. Thus, a patient who is undergoing chemotherapy need to take proper precautions :
- Regular hand wash with soap or sanitizer after toilet and before cooking and eating
- Avoid getting close to people who are suffering from chest infections like cough, cold and flu.
- Andy cuts or bruises on your body should be regularly cleaned with water and soap. Make sure that you keep them covered with bandage and once it is completely dry then only remove the bandage. Also, use anti – biotic cream.
- Avoid crowded areas where germs can be quite rampant.
- Avoid cutting or nicking yourself. Use electric tweezer instead of razor.
- Wear protective gloves whenever you find it necessary.