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What it feels like to get chemotherapy

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Chemotherapy treatment may be indicated in various conditions in which it is necessary to destroy cancer cells and prevent them from multiplying, for example, to shrink cancerous tumors before removing them with surgery or after surgery to remove remains of malignant cells, also in cases of cancer that come back or to treat cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma .

On the other hand, it is widely said that the general state of health worsens after undergoing chemotherapy and this causes fear both in cancer patients and in those close to them, so they sometimes prefer not to follow this treatment. However, when the diagnosis and indications for this therapy have been given, it is inevitable to wonder what it feels like when they give you chemotherapy and in this FastlyHealarticle we offer you the most relevant information on this topic.

How chemotherapy is given

The duration and the route in which the chemotherapy is applied will depend on the treatment that the specialist indicates for each particular case, according to the type of cancer you have, the drug to be used or their combination and the response of the body itself. . In general, the administration of chemicals with this therapy is done in several cycles that are followed by a rest period between each session so that the body recovers. A cycle can last from a day to a few weeks and the administration of drugs can be in minutes or hours.

Regarding the route of administration, it can be through a needle or tube that is inserted into the vein and is known as intravenous chemotherapy or also through pills in oral chemotherapy. Also, if it is necessary for the drugs to reach the cerebrospinal fluid directly, intrathecal or intraventricular chemotherapy is usually indicated , in which the drugs are injected into the brain through a catheter or into the lower part of the spine. While in certain cases of skin cancer they can be treated with topical chemotherapy , applying the drugs to the skin in creams or ointments.

Symptoms after starting chemotherapy

Knowing that a drug therapy is necessary to kill cancer cells immediately leads to thinking about adverse effects that can further deteriorate health. This is because these drugs do not distinguish cancer cells from healthy cells , exerting their effect on both and the most damaged are cells in the bone marrow, those of the mouth, the digestive tract and the reproductive system, in addition to the Hair follicles.

However, specialists determine a treatment that helps stop the cancer and at the same time produces the least amount or intensity of unwanted symptoms, so not all patients come to manifest all the possible effects, but they notice a few and they do not usually be serious. Although it will depend on each case, if you have doubts about what it feels like when they give you chemotherapy , some side effects that you could have are:

  • Low levels of red and white blood cells. Being able to cause anemia .
  • Ease of bruising , even with a slight blow.
  • Nausea and vomiting . These episodes can last 24 to 48 hours after chemotherapy is given. However, its presence or frequency will depend on the type of drug.
  • Hair fall . Not all drugs produce this side effect or they do not do it in the same intensity, since there may be a slight loss of hair or even complete baldness, and it can be noticeable after 3 weeks from the first cycle. This symptom is not permanent, so the hair grows back in the next 2 or 3 weeks after finishing the treatment.
  • Tiredness , often due to anemia.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Ulcers in the mouth , tongue, or throat. They can appear in 1 or 2 weeks after starting treatment.
  • Loss of body weight.
  • Emotional changes.
  • Low sexual desire

Care During Chemotherapy

Due to the action of drugs on healthy cells and the various symptoms that can be felt when you are given chemotherapy, your doctor may prescribe medications to help prevent and alleviate these side effects , making the disease more bearable. therapy. On the other hand, some cares can be followed to promote treatment and quality of life, including:

  • Eat a balanced diet . The best thing is for a specialist to indicate the best foods for your condition, especially those that provide protein and calories to promote the production of healthy cells.
  • Rest as necessary, otherwise you can overstress the body and slow down recovery.
  • Practice some exercise or sport , always under the authorization of a professional. This can help fight mood swings and stimulate your appetite.
  • Avoid some triggers of certain symptoms, for example if you suffer from nausea and vomit, stay away from very strong or unpleasant odors.
  • These are the foods that increase your appetite .
  • Maintain good hydration , especially if you suffer from diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting.
  • Avoid being around people with contagious diseases, since the body’s defenses are usually low and it is more susceptible to infections.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to What does it feel like when you get chemotherapy , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .

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