Lung Cancer

Life in Remission

Life in Remission

The side effects of Chemotherapy depend on the form of medicines used, the dose, and the general health of a patient. The side effects of radiation depend on the radiation dose given, the area where the radiation was administered, and whether the radiation was internal or external.

Here are a few of the side effects of these Lung Cancer therapies:

Fatigue

The most common side effect of both Chemotherapy and radiation is tiredness (fatigue). Even the most healthy individuals are likely to be tired, and maybe even a little “foggy” during treatment — and probably afterwards as well. This is perfectly natural. Encourage the patient to relax as much as possible and cut back on events. With optimal care, energy will revert back with time.

Pain

Many chemo medications cause headaches, muscle pains, stomach pains, or even transient nerve damage, which may lead to the burning of hands and feet, numbness, or tingling. If this happens, your cancer hospital doctor may prescribe medicines that may be of assistance. However, avoid using over-the-counter or herbal medicines without approval from your doctor, as these can interfere with chemo drugs.

Gastrointestinal

It is understood that certain forms of chemo medicines cause nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, or Diarrhea. A lot of those effects can be avoided or relieved by medicines. It is also normal for patients to find that when on Chemo, their taste preferences shift (for example, they can’t handle certain smells).

Changes in Skin

Chemo medicines typically cause rashes, redness, and other skin irritation. Radiation alone may cause similar symptoms in the treatment area, along with blisters, peeling, and swelling.

Weight Loss or Weight Gain

Many patients suffer from weight loss or weight gain. It is normal for people who take steroids to have an elevated appetite and gain weight in odd areas, such as the cheeks or back. Many patients may have reduced appetite or may have difficulty holding food down (especially if they feel nauseated after the Chemo).

Hair Loss

Hair thinning and Hair loss can occur all over the body during Chemotherapy. Radiation therapy can also cause Hair loss in specific areas. Yet radiation does not cause hair to fall off from the head.

Anemia

Chemotherapy medicines and radiation can attack healthy blood cells and cause harm to new ones created by the body. Low levels of red blood cells can lead to anemia that causes tiredness, paleness, shortness of breath, and rapid heartbeat.

Blood Clotting

Cells that allow blood to clot, called platelets, are another form of blood cell that can be affected primarily because of Chemo, during Cancer Treatment. Low Platelets may cause bleeding or thrombocytopenia. It may cause small red patches on the skin, Vomiting or bleeding from the nose, or gums.