Chemotherapy will cause some side effects. We will explore chemo side effects here. Strong chemicals work by killing or damaging cancer cells. Problems are caused when the chemo drugs kill and damage healthy cells. Chemo drugs often damage white blood cells. Having low white blood cell count weakens the immune system. This can increases the risk of infection.
Below is a list of common side effects caused from chemotherapy drugs. This is not a complete listing. You may experience different side effects.
Mayo Clinic explains hair loss due to chemo treatment. Hair loss is the first side effect people think of when they hear the word chemo. While hair loss is common it’s not for everyone. Some chemo drugs cause mild hair loss. When chemo does cause hair loss it’s all the hair. Head on your head of course, but also eyebrows, even nose hair falls away. You might save money on shavers during this time.
Nausea and Vomiting
American Cancer Society has a lot of information about risk factors for nausea and things you and your physician can do to prevent it. If you get nauseous during chemo depends on many factors. No one can predict whether you’ll experience it or not. There are preventative measures you and your doctors can take to minimize your nausea.
Chemo Care discusses fatigue due to chemo therapy. As we age we more likely to feel fatigue from over doing it. During chemo though, patients feel fatigued while just sitting. The body is processing chemo drugs that it recognizes as poison. Processing poisons, even if they are working to kill cancer cells, causes the body to feel fatigue.
Cancer Research UK explains what to do if you have an infection during chemo treatment. Being carful not to become injured during chemo treatment is important. Recent surgeries, small cuts, even hangnails can become infected. Some signs of infection are fever, wound becoming red swollen and hot to the touch, red line moving up an extremity. Consult your physician for more signs to watch for. Some signs of infection require hospitalization.
Patient Advocate Foundation offers information on anemia caused by chemo therapy. Anemia can caused when chemo attacks healthy red blood cells (RBCs) and damages the body’s ability to produce red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells can cause anemia. Some signs of anemia are extreme tiredness, fatigue, lack of energy, lethargy, dizziness, headaches, and rapid heartbeat. These are not the only signs but please consult your physician if you experience these signs.