What is Chemotherapy?
Chemotherapy is the name of a treatment which uses a group of many drugs to help treat different types of cancer. These drugs have been used by us for over 60 years, they are considered effective and they are constantly being developed due to non-stop scientific research and testing.
In fact, the treatment consists of a series of chemical substances that are introduced into the body and affect the malignant cells. Their goal is to slow down the division of cancer sells and their spread in the body. In order to receive this treatment, the patient needs to come to an institution, perform a blood test to see whether his blood count is normal and suitable for the treatment. Only then the medications can be ordered and the treatment can be received.
The duration of the treatment is several hours, and it is administered as “cycles”, which can last from one day to a week.
What are the side effects of chemotherapy?
The fact that the body absorbs a large quantity of chemical substances in order to inhibit the cancer creates a
good deal of side effects. These side effects vary depending on the drug and dosage received by patients.
The most common side effects of chemotherapy are:
- Loss of appetite
- Immune system suppression
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hair loss and baldness
- Pain in the mouth and throat
- Diarrhea and constipation
How can these side effects be alleviated?
There are quite a few ways to alleviate the chemotherapy side effects.
Certainly, they can be treated medically, however, following a number of simple principles and using natural products can help as well.
For example, maintaining a proper diet. Consult a nutritionist, who can help you build a high-calorie menu, but make sure to eat your meals in small portions to avoid overloading the body. Drinking plenty of water can give a feeling of a relief. Maintaining oral hygiene is also very important.
Patients might suffer from sores in the mouth, which further increases the loss of appetite common for the treatment period.
It is recommended to engage in a controlled physical activity (walking), which can relieve the feeling of exhaustion.
It is very important to do this in the early hours of the morning or in the evening in order to avoid sun exposure, which can make the side effects worse.
Using specific nutritional supplements consisting of plants such as Uncaria and Elderberry, which are known to increase the quantity of white blood cells, stimulate and strengthen the immune system, can contribute to the patient’s wellbeing.