Combat Chemo Side Effects

Over the years, researchers have improved chemotherapy drugs so the side effects are minimal. For drugs that cause unpleasant side effects, doctors have ways to help you while undergoing treatment.

“Each person reacts differently to medications,” says Carlos Robles, MD, medical oncologist/hematologist, Saint Francis Medical Partner. “Keep a detailed record of your symptoms so your doctor can help you feel better.”

Nausea: Medications are available to curb nausea. Make sure you fully understand your doctor’s instructions for all medications you are given.

Robles_Carlos_MG_0217Fatigue: To reduce fatigue, take naps in a chair rather than in a bed, ask for help when needed and participate in moderate exercise (mainly walking).

Diarrhea: Talk with your doctor about modifying your eating habits and over-the-counter remedies.

Hair loss: If you are taking medications that cause hair loss, you may choose to use a wig or scarf until your hair grows back.

“Some people experience side effects while others have no problems,” says Robles. “Be sure to let us know how you are feeling so we can help you.”

For more information, call 573-331-3996 or visit Saint Francis Medical Center’s Cancer Institute webpage.