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What Are the Best Tips for Coping with Chemotherapy?

By Jackie Myers
Updated May 17, 2024
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Everyone reacts differently to chemotherapy. The best tips for coping with it are to try to avoid infection, to keep skin moisturized and to eat foods that will not upset the digestive tract. Those undergoing chemotherapy should also get plenty of rest. Many people have difficulties dealing with their emotional reactions to chemotherapy and should seek professional counseling.

Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to fight off cancer cells. Cytoxic medications are commonly selected by physicians to shrink tumors and to stop the disease from spreading to other areas of the body. People can receive different forms of this treatment depending on the type of cancer they have. Doctors may choose to combine chemotherapy with other forms of treatment such as hormone therapy.

When coping with chemotherapy it is vital for patients to reduce their risk of infection. Chemotherapy lowers the number of white blood cells, causing the immune system to become weak, and patients become more susceptible to becoming sick while undergoing treatment. The best way to lessen the chances of getting an infection is to maintain excellent hygiene at all times. Frequent hand washing is necessary to reduce the numbers of bacteria.

Skin can become damaged from treatment. Those coping with chemotherapy can apply moisturizers to their skin to keep it hydrated. When the skin becomes dry, the chances of cracking, which can allow bacteria to enter, increase. This can be harmful for patients with cancer. Sunscreen should be worn more often while exposed to the sun to prevent the skin from burning.

it is possible for certain drugs used in chemo to cause diarrhea. Chemotherapy is known to destroy both cancerous cells in the body and those within the digestive track. People can cope with chemotherapy and this side effect by choosing not to consume dairy or spicy foods. Since potassium is lost during diarrhea, patients can replace it by taking supplements or eating dried apricots.

One of the most common side effects of chemotherapy is fatigue. While coping with chemotherapy, it is important for people to understand that they will tire easily after treatment. Experts do not recommend strenuous exercise and advise patients to rest as much as possible. It would also be ideal if arrangements could be to receive help with everyday tasks and errands, to reduce extra activity.

The emotional side effects of chemotherapy can be difficult for patients to deal with. Counselors can help with the overwhelming emotions that stem from illnesses. They can also provide helpful stress coping techniques for cancer and can recommend support groups.

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