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3 Possible Side Effects of Cancer Treatment (and Their Solutions)

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According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 1,734,350 new cancer cases were diagnosed in the United States in 2018 alone. Many people who receive a diagnosis will undergo various cancer treatment options, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.

While the treatments could potentially save or lengthen a person’s life, they also come with various side effects that can affect a patient both mentally and physically. Here are three possible side effects of cancer treatments and their solutions.

  1. Nausea

Many patients might choose to undergo chemotherapy to potentially shrink their cancer or slow down its growth. Consequently, it could help them to live longer and ease their symptoms. In some cases, chemotherapy can shrink a cancer so it’s small enough to be surgically removed. 

Nausea is, however, one of the biggest downsides of chemotherapy. To help combat sickness and vomiting, many patients are often prescribed anti-nausea drugs. Many cancer patients have also reported that avoiding spicy, greasy, salty, and fried foods alleviated their nausea.

  1. Fatigue

A number of reports found that at least 70% of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy will suffer from fatigue. It is also believed the anemia associated with the treatments could cause extreme tiredness, and it can make it challenging for patients to enjoy and complete everyday activities.

Fatigue is unfortunately a by-product of the potentially life-saving treatments, but there are options available to help you feel better. For example, you could combat fatigue by following a nutritious diet, resting, and exercising each day. It’s also important for cancer patients to be aware that fatigue doesn’t mean cancer is progressing, as it is an unfortunate and difficult side effect of a treatment.

  1. Hair loss

Chemotherapy aims to kill every rapidly dividing cell in a patient’s body. Yet, it can destroy patients’ hair roots, which can lead to a loss of hair on top of a patient’s head, as well as their eyelashes, eyebrows, and other bodily hair.

It’s common for patients to experience hair loss within one to three weeks of their initial chemotherapy treatment. In many cases, hair loss is temporary, meaning it’s likely to grow back between three to 10 months after treatment is complete.

Hair loss can also be a side effect experienced by those undergoing radiation therapy, which will occur in the area of the body where the treatment is administrated. Your hair could grow back a few weeks after treatment, but the texture and color may be different. It’s also possible that your hair will not grow back, which is more likely if you have experienced a high dose of radiotherapy. If this is the case, a hair transplant could be a fantastic alternative; you can review the patient photo gallery at hshairclinic.co.uk to review genuine results.

The above three problems are possible side effects you could experience during cancer treatments. It is, however, important to discuss any side effects with your doctor, who can provide detailed information about the solutions available and help you decide on the right course of action for you.

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