Chemotherapy: 10 Ways It Will Affect You

When it comes to health matters, there’s one word that begins with a “c” that everyone dreads hearing – cancer. Once patients are diagnosed, there’s another “c” word that potentially lingers in their future – chemotherapy. For cancer treatment, there are usually three options: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is a treatment where chemicals are introduced to the body intravenously in the hopes that they will minimize and kill any growing cells. While it can be a life-saving treatment, chemotherapy also comes with a long list of potential side effects. If you’re getting ready for chemotherapy treatment, here are 10 ways it might affect you.

Hair Loss

One major side effect that people hear about when someone is going through chemo is hair loss. Penguin Cold Cap is one way to deal with this side effect. With a cooling effect on your scalp, it helps minimize and slow down the hair loss process.

Fatigue

Another common side effect of chemotherapy is fatigue. With all the chemicals being introduced to the body, it goes through a lot, which can lead to elevated amounts of fatigue in chemo patients.

Easy Bruising

Chemotherapy can also cause easy bruising and bleeding. The treatment can cause the production of fewer red blood cells, and when this occurs, it can lead to easy bruising and can also make it difficult for blood to clot.

infusion, chemo therapy, chemo
OpenClipart-Vectors (CC0), Pixabay

Infections

Because of the harsh chemicals used in chemotherapy treatments, it can still do a lot of damage to the body. Chemotherapy can reduce the number of white blood cells in the body which are in place to fight off infections.

Anemia

Anemia is another way that chemotherapy can affect you. This is a condition where there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells in the body. Similar to the cause of easy bruising, anemia, or the lack of blood is another common way that chemotherapy can affect the body.

Nausea/Vomiting

If you know anyone who has undergone chemotherapy treatment, it’s common to hear them include nausea as one of their side effects. The harsh chemicals of the treatment can damage the stomach lining and cause nausea and vomiting.

Appetite Changes

There are a number of reasons why patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment might lose their appetite. One, it depends on the location of the cancerous cells and two, the chemicals might lead to a change in metabolism.

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is another effect that might affect chemotherapy patients. While nausea can be caused by damage to the stomach, the chemicals could damage the inside of the intestines, which could make diarrhea another potential thing to expect.

makeup, chemotherapy, woman
cristhianelouback0 (CC0), Pixabay

Constipation

As we mentioned for diarrhea, chemotherapy can cause damage to the intestines. While the damage might lead to diarrhea in some, it can also lead to constipation in others.

Mood Changes

Mood changes are another very common thing associated with chemotherapy treatment. While chemo is very taxing on the body physically, it’s also very taxing mentally and emotionally. Because of this, mood changes are a common occurrence, and many patients might find themselves dealing with depression and anxiety.

Cancer and chemotherapy are two of the hardest things that anyone can deal with. Not only is it a life-altering battle, but there are certain effects to watch out for. While it’s impossible to fully prepare someone for them, it’s helpful to know what you’re up against.

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