Years ago, chemotherapy caused much suffering among cancer patients. Today, however, most types of chemotherapy are not nearly as uncomfortable as they used to be. “A lot of people are concerned about chemotherapy, but their concerns are based on old information,” says Prem Sobti, MD, medical oncologist and hematologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “Medications have advanced so much that only a small number of people have significant discomfort.”
For patients who do experience nausea or vomiting, doctors have plenty of weapons in their arsenal to combat the effects. “If we are using chemotherapy that is likely to cause nausea, we intensify the anti-nausea medications,” says Sobti. “We can give patients an intravenous (IV) drip before we give them their chemotherapy, or we can provide them with medications to take home.”
In some cases, doctors can also adjust medication dosages so patients will be less likely to experience negative side effects.
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