The cancer side effects caused by radiation therapy, chemotherapy and other types of advanced treatments can be difficult for some people. In order to kill cancer cells and prolong the lives of their patients, physicians may use these treatments. Not all patients will experience the same types of side effects. However, many face the problems caused by their treatments on a daily basis. Learning to cope with these problems requires following the doctors' orders and getting the support of family, friends and support groups.
Cancer side effects often include feeling tired or fatigued. Patients with this side effect may spend several hours to an entire day resting. They may not participate in activities, spend time with family and friends or feel the urge to go out. Treatments like radiation therapy may cause patients to feel exhausted during or after the therapy. Patients may consider eating healthier meals and drinking plenty of fluids to help build up their strength.
Some treatments, such as radiation therapy, for cancer may cause skin irritation. The skin may form blisters, turn red or experience swelling. Other treatments that present cancer side effects include chemotherapy and surgery. Skin problems caused by surgery include infection and pain at the incision site.
Pain is one of the most common cancer side effects of treatments. A number of treatments influence this effect, including surgery to remove damaged or destroyed tissue. It may be treated with pain management that includes medication, acupuncture and meditation. Patients should keep in mind that not every person experiences pain or the same levels of pain. Pain support groups that deal directly with cancer patients may help them learn coping mechanisms to help manage their symptoms. Getting support from family and friends during episodes of pain also helps.
Certain medications cause cancer side effects that change patients' appetites. Medications for stomach cancers may be treatment options that affect how well patients eat or drink. Food may not taste the same or look as appetizing as it did before treatment. Eating smaller meals throughout the day is an option some people do in order to get the daily nutrition they need.
Cancer side effects from treatments may vary for each patient. Side effects also depend on the type of cancer people may have. Doctors may design pain management options for their patients based on the type, stage and overall condition of the cancer. Pain management may also deal with the emotional effects of cancer treatments. People with cancer may feel emotionally drained from their condition and treatments.
Tips and comments
Seek support groups and other organizations that deal with cancer and the problems caused by it. The American Cancer Society offers a number of support groups and resources that will help people experiencing cancer side effects. Support organizations also help patients' families and friends learn how to help their loved ones. Keeping positive may not be easy but with the right help and support, it may be some patient's only way to deal with their condition.
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