Fighting side effects post cancer treatment
People are now surviving cancer than ever before with better treatments, new technology and advancements. But the modes of treatment also leave certain after effects in the body making the patients a little uncomfortable.
Cancer! The word sends shivers down the spine. Any symptom like a lump or a sore which isn’t healing is enough to set panic in a victim. The lists of treatments to fight cancer that mostly include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery do leave certain side effects on the body. However there are number of ways in which one can overcome them. Doctors feel that if obesity, tobacco and infections are eliminated, the risk of cancer also reduces to a great extent.
Causes of side effects
As cancer cells grow and divide more rapidly than normal cells, many anticancer drugs are made to kill these growing cells. But certain normal, healthy cells also multiply quickly, and chemotherapy and other radiation therapies are likely to affect these cells. This damage to normal cells causes the side effects.
Nausea and vomiting
Nausea is one of the first few symptoms for which medication is given right from the start of the surgery. Behavioural treatments like distraction, relaxation, and positive imagery can help change the fear of nausea and vomiting and avoiding greasy, fried, salty or spicy food and taking a balanced and light diet also helps in recovering from this side effect.
Loss of hearing
This is one of the most prevalent side effects of chemotherapy. It can result from radiation therapy and platinum-based chemotherapy drugs such as carboplatin and cisplatin. In such cases, cochlear implants are the best way to remedy hearing loss.
Facing hair loss
The first change that is difficult to deal with is the hair loss. I had hair till my knees. After eight cycles of chemotherapy, one surgery, 32 rounds of radiation plus 17 injections of targeted chemo, I lost all my hair which broke me more from within.
The first thing advised by the doctors is to get a false vig made as hair loss is bound to happen. But they also advice to be natural as it coping with the changes becomes easy. There is a machine in the market that is said to reduce hair fall during chemo. This machine that resembles an ice cap is kept on the head that keeps the head cool.
It is recommended to take proper care of them by restricting hair wash to twice a week, avoid using hair brush, heating elements and hair colours for nearly a year after the treatment.
Coping with mental trauma and stress
The technology is upgraded for curing cancer but mental trauma and stress are additional drawbacks with this treatment. The therapies and sessions can be gruesome for the patient with many changes taking place in the body. Regular counselling and inducing positive thinking is the only way to deal with those many changes. Though the suffering cannot be reduced but controlling the trauma helps in coping with the after effects of the treatment.