September 30, 2022

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Cancer: Chemotherapy is actually not that scary

Cancer: Chemotherapy is actually not that scary



 

Cancer: Chemotherapy is actually not that scary. 

 Chemotherapy is an important method for the treatment of cancer, and the specific plan varies with the specific conditions of different patients.

Before starting chemotherapy, doctors usually communicate fully with patients and their families to discuss chemotherapy options, possible adverse reactions and coping methods.

 

Cancer: Chemotherapy is actually not that scary

 

For anyone, “cancer” can be described as a bolt from the blue, and the subsequent treatment is even more tingling for the scalp! Inevitably, “chemotherapy” is also one of the treatment options that has made many people fearful. Many people may have thoughts like “chemotherapy will make people die faster.” So, is this really the case? of course not!

 

This article will introduce the content of chemotherapy in the Elsevier ClinicalKey clinical key. In this article, through the professional perspective of a doctor, we will answer your knowledge about “chemotherapy”.

 

 

01 What is chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy, or chemotherapy, is a method of treating cancer, which is the application of drugs to slow down or stop the development of cancer.

The main purpose of chemotherapy:

  • Cure cancer
  • Stop the development and spread of cancer;
  • Relieve the discomfort caused by cancer and improve the quality of life of patients;
  • Improve the efficacy of radiotherapy;
  • Shrink tumors before surgery;
  • Remaining tumor cells were removed after surgery.

The course of chemotherapy is affected by the following factors:

  • The type and stage of cancer;
  • The patient’s response to chemotherapy;
  • Adverse reactions related to chemotherapy in the patient.

 

 

02 What are the risks of receiving chemotherapy?

Under normal circumstances, chemotherapy is a relatively safe treatment. However, the following situations may be more difficult to deal with:

  • infection;
  • Bleeding at the tumor site;
  • Drug allergy.

Some patients will have chemotherapy-related adverse reactions. As for the specific reaction, the following factors will affect:

  • Types of chemotherapy drugs;
  • The dose of chemotherapy drugs;
  • Duration of application of chemotherapy drugs;
  • The basic physical condition of the patient.

 

 

 

03 What are the preparations before the start of chemotherapy?

The doctor will discuss the following issues with patients and their families:

  • The route of administration of chemotherapeutic drugs;
  • Common related adverse reactions and coping methods;
  • Overall treatment arrangements;
  • Blood test
  • Take drugs to prevent adverse reactions related to chemotherapy.

 

 

04 What will happen during chemotherapy?

Chemotherapy may last for a period of time, or it may be given periodically.

Commonly used routes of administration of chemotherapy drugs are as follows:

  • Oral (tablet or capsule);
  • Intravenous injection
  • External application on the skin (cream);
  • External application at the tumor site (applicator);
  • Cerebrospinal fluid injection (ie intrathecal chemotherapy);
  • Inject into the body through a catheter, such as:
  • Venous catheterization;
  • An implantable infusion port embedded under the skin on the chest can stay in the body for weeks or even months;
  • A central venous catheter (PICC) is inserted through a peripheral vein, which can stay in the body for weeks or even months;
  • Jugular vein catheterization can only be used for a short time due to the high risk of infection;
  • Tunnel-type catheters, that are catheters that pass through the skin of the chest and enter the large veins leading to the heart, can stay in the body for months or even years.

 

During chemotherapy, medical staff will also pay attention to the patient’s blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, blood oxygen saturation (that is, vital signs), and any other discomforts.

 

Some chemotherapy drugs only need to be taken in a single dose, while others take months, years or even life.

 

 

 

05 What happens after chemotherapy is over?

After chemotherapy is over, some patients will have related adverse reactions, such as:

  • feel sick and vomit;
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Constipation or diarrhea;
  • Tired
  • Infection, bruising or bleeding;
  • Hair loss
  • Mouth or throat ulcers;
  • Numbness or pain in the hands and feet;
  • Dry, sensitive, itchy or painful skin;
  • Memory in decline.

 

06 Home Guidance

1)  General precautions

  • If chemotherapy is received through intravenous injection or catheterization, the injection or catheterization site should be checked daily to observe whether there is redness, swelling, exudation, or elevated skin temperature;
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use a disinfectant;
  • Chemotherapy drugs are mainly excreted in urine or feces, but may also be present in other body fluids such as vomit, tears, vaginal secretions, or semen. Therefore, care should be taken to prevent other people from contacting the patient’s body fluids or excreta. The specific measures are as follows:
  • Clothes, towels or sheets that may be stained with body fluids need to be washed twice in a washing machine;
  • During the chemotherapy period and within 48 hours after the end of the chemotherapy, sexual life needs to use condoms;
  • Develop good toilet usage habits, such as sitting in the toilet at all times, flushing after closing the lid, and washing hands with soap and water after going to the toilet;

It is very important to follow the doctor’s advice and follow up on time.

 

2) diet

Follow the dietitian’s recommendations to choose food;

Vegetables and fruits must be cleaned;

Drink enough water to ensure that the urine color is light yellow.

 

3) Medication

Follow the doctor’s advice to take the medicine;

Consult your doctor if you need to supplement vitamins or take health care products, because some drugs may interact with chemotherapy drugs.

 

4) Sports activities

  • Ensure adequate rest;
  • Can perform some low-intensity activities regularly, such as walking, soothing yoga or Tai Chi;
  • You can return to normal life only after getting permission from your doctor.

 

 

 

07 In the following cases, you need to see a doctor:

  • Skin rashes, headache, stiff neck, cough, cold-like manifestations, burning sensation during urination, peculiar smell in urine, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or blood in urine;
  • Frequent bruises or abnormal bleeding;
  • Increased urination frequency;
  • Damage to the mucous membrane of the mouth and throat causes pain, which makes it impossible to eat.

 

 

08 In the following situations, you need to see a doctor immediately:

Fever, redness, swelling and exudation at the place where the venous catheter is placed or elevated skin temperature, abnormal bleeding, seizures, chest pain, and difficulty breathing;

Can’t swallow.

 

 

 


Sum up: 

Chemotherapy is an important method for the treatment of cancer, and the specific plan varies with the specific conditions of different patients.

Before starting chemotherapy, doctors usually communicate fully with patients and their families to discuss chemotherapy options, possible adverse reactions and coping methods.

During this period, any medication should be approved by a doctor.

 

This information may not be applicable to everyone. For specific diagnosis and treatment issues, you need to consult a professional medical staff.

 

 

 

 

Cancer: Chemotherapy is actually not that scary

(source:internet, reference only)


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