Cancer Treatment Side-Effects: When to Call the Doctor

Treatment for cancer has an end goal – to eradicate cancer cells and offer patients a new lease on life. There is much good that comes from cancer treatment of all kinds – chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and more. But, unfortunately, with treatment can come side effects that are part and parcel of the drugs and techniques that are used today. Luckily, there are ways to help lessen the effects of cancer treatment but with some more minor, side effects the patients often just has to manage as best they can until the symptoms begin to subside on their own which they will do once there has been an adequate amount of time passes.

There are a range of side effects that many people face following cancer treatment and their experience will differ from the next person. In fact, you will rarely find two people who will have the same type of cancer experience and the way in which they experience side effects is included in that. Ultimately, the type and stage of cancer, the type of treatment used, and the overall health of the patient apart from their diagnosis will determine their side effects and their ability to manage those symptoms.

Your doctor should always be kept abreast of the side effects and symptoms that you are experiencing. Even the smallest symptom can communicate how your body is handling treatment. And with more pronounced side effects, your doctor can offer some ways for reducing or sometimes alleviating what you’re experiencing so it’s best to always keep your doctor in the loop.

Here are some common side effects from cancer treatment that you should be sure to alert your doctor to if you are experiencing:

Nausea and vomiting. This is a common side effect of treatment and can range from mild to severe. While your doctor may not be able to eradicate your symptoms entirely, there are things that you can take to help reduce the symptoms and keep food down.

Fatigue. Again, this is a common symptom. Imagine what your body – both physically and mentally – is doing to battle your disease. Fatigue is sure to follow. But if it’s pronounced and prolonged – interfering with your life – let your doctor know so that he/she can offer solutions.

Hair loss. This is an unfortunate side effect of many cancer treatments but it doesn’t happen to everyone. And with the addition of modern technology – such as the Chemo Cold Caps – hair loss doesn’t have to be inevitable.

If what you are experiencing – regardless of what it is – differs from how you normally feel and ranges from uncomfortable and irritating to painful, this is likely a side effect of the treatment you are receiving. Work with your doctor to examine options for making you more comfortable during this time.

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