Sunday, March 3, 2024

Signs Chemo Is Killing You

Talking With Your Loved Ones

How does chemotherapy work? – Hyunsoo Joshua No

Be open with your loved ones about your cancer and the news youve been given. Explore their thoughts, feelings, and suggestions. Talk to them about the options you have been given, along with the decisions you have made or are thinking of making. If you feel you need their input, ask. If not, be firm that you would like to make your own decision. You can read more about the importance of communication in Nearing the End of Life.

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Average Length Of Treatment

Psoriasis can come and go unexpectedly. This is different for everyone. The severity of symptoms is different, and the length of time treatment is needed varies by person.

On average, symptoms last a few weeks or months at a time, go away, and then come back. However, that does not mean treatment should be stopped when symptoms go away. It is important to talk to a healthcare provider before stopping a medication because symptoms can rebound, or come back more severe than they were before the medication was started.

How Chemotherapy Works Against Cancer

Chemotherapy works by stopping or slowing the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide quickly. Chemotherapy is used for two reasons:

  • Treat cancer: Chemotherapy can be used to cure cancer, lessen the chance it will return, or stop or slow its growth.
  • Ease cancer symptoms: Chemotherapy can be used to shrink tumors that are causing pain and other problems.

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What To Keep In Mind

Not all cancer treatments work at the same speed. Surgery removes all or most of the cancer at one time, but it can take weeks or months after you get radiation for all of the cancer cells to die.

Everyone responds differently to cancer treatment, but your doctor will make every effort to get rid of as many cancer cells as possible.

If you have an operation as part of your treatment, your surgeon will take out some of the healthy tissue around your tumor to make sure no cancer cells are left behind. This is called the margin. The surgeon may also remove some lymph nodes near the cancer. The lymph nodes can show whether your cancer has spread and if you need more treatment. You may also have blood and imaging tests to see if you still have any cancer left in your body.

After treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy, your doctor will examine you for any new growths. Youll also get blood tests, X-rays, and other imaging tests. These tests will measure your tumor and see if your treatment has slowed or stopped your cancer.

Chemo Can Help Even If It Doesn’t Get Rid Of Your Tumor

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Chemotherapy works by killing cancer cells, so you might assume that the goal is always to eliminate a tumor. But doctors sometimes use chemo for other reasons, such as to:

  • Kill hidden cancer cells in your body after you already had surgery to remove a tumor
  • Shrink a tumor before you get other treatments, like surgery or radiation therapy
  • Help relieve some cancer symptoms, even if a cure isn’t likely

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Lost All Her Body Hair Except The Eyebrows She Cut Short The Hair On Her Head Before It Came Out

Chemotherapy drugs damage the lining of the mouth causing ulcers, thrush and altered taste or smell. Mouth washes were often supplied to prevent mouth sores. A woman with an ulcerated throat was given morphine to reduce the pain but had hallucinations and stopped using it. A man had such bad ulcers in his mouth that it was bleeding and he couldn’t talk or eat. Many people complained that food tasted bland or horrible, metallic, or like poison. Some said they ‘went off’ the smells of perfumes or certain foods such as chicken, fish, cheese, or coffee. Some were put off eating completely and had to be fed through a tube. One woman could smell something that nobody else could but it disappeared after her treatment finished.

When To Call Your Cancer Care Team About Chemo Side Effects

Because your cancer care team will give you lots of information about side effects, you might be more aware of physical changes. Do not take any physical symptoms you have lightly. Some side effects are short-lived and minor, but others may be a sign of serious problems. Make sure you know how to reach someone on your team any time, including after hours, weekends, and holidays.

Contact your cancer care team right away if you have any of the following symptoms during chemo treatment:

  • A fever higher than what your cancer care team has instructed
  • Bleeding or unexplained bruising

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When To Switch From Metformin To Insulin

Many Type 2 diabetes patients require treatment with insulin, either as a stand-alone medication or as an addition to an oral regimen, because they are unable to achieve adequate glycemic control with oral medications. The start of insulin may be recommended if there is evidence of long-term and chronic hyperglycemia, given how quickly and effectively insulin lowers blood sugar levels. A medical team may recommend using insulin if glucose targets are unable to be made after being diagnosed .

Late Effects Of Chemotherapy

What to Expect During Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy medicines interfere with the rapidly growing cells of the body. These cells can include those related to hair, skin, fingernails or the stomach lining. This is why chemotherapy can cause temporary side effects. These include mouth sores, upset stomach, hair loss or skin rashes. Side effects usually improve as the normal tissues repair themselves.

Not all chemotherapy medicines have the same late effects. A lot depends on the kind of medicines used. The dosage and whether chemotherapy was done with another type of treatment are also important. If an organ is damaged, a lot depends on whether it can repair itself. Before starting treatment, ask your health care provider about the possible after-effects of all the medications you will receive. Late effects of chemotherapy include:

  • Secondary cancers.

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How Much Chemotherapy Costs

The cost of chemotherapy depends on

  • the types and doses of chemotherapy used
  • how long and how often chemotherapy is given
  • whether you get chemotherapy at home, in a clinic or office, or during a hospital stay
  • the part of the country where you live

Talk with your health insurance company about what services it will pay for. Most insurance plans pay for chemotherapy. To learn more, talk with the business office where you go for treatment.

If you need financial assistance, there are organizations that may be able to help. To find such organizations, go to the National Cancer Institute database Organizations that Offer Support Services and search for “financial assistance.” Or call toll-free 1-800-4-CANCER to ask for information on organizations that may help.

Chemo Can Help Even If It Doesnt Get Rid Of Your Tumor

Chemotherapy works by killing cancer cells, so you might assume that the goal is always to eliminate a tumor. But doctors sometimes use chemo for other reasons, such as to:

  • Kill hidden cancer cells in your body after you already had surgery to remove a tumor
  • Shrink a tumor before you get other treatments, like surgery or radiation therapy
  • Help relieve some cancer symptoms, even if a cure isnt likely

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Can Cancer Spread While On Chemo

Unfortunately, yes, cancer can spread during chemotherapy. While a treatment course with chemotherapy is one of the most successful ways of treating cancer, it is not always successful. The spread of cancer during or shortly after a chemotherapy session can mean that the tumor is growing. It could also mean that while the original tumor has shrunk, the cancer has spread to other areas of the body this process is called metastasis.

Unwanted Effects Of Chemotherapy

Surviving Chemotherapy: How to Keep Your Body as Strong as Possible and ...

Chemotherapy damages healthy cells in the body that are dividing quickly. This is the main cause of the unwanted or side effects of treatment. Side effects vary depending on the drugs used and everyone reacts differently. For most people the side effects were worst in the first few days after treatment, then they gradually felt better until the next treatment. Some said the effects were worse with each successive treatment. Most side effects don’t persist and disappear within a few weeks after the end of treatment.It is well known that chemotherapy can make you feel sick. This problem is now better understood than it was – nausea can be well controlled with medication. Some people expected to suffer nausea and vomiting but found that the anti-emetic medication worked well.

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Late Effects Of Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is applied to the areas of the body that are affected by cancer. Aftereffects occur only in the area that was treated. In some cases, treatment may also include healthy tissue. This is to make certain that all of the cancer is treated.

Newer methods of radiation therapy help minimize damage to normal tissue. Treatment is directed to the same area each time. Yet, radiation rays sometimes scatter. Tissues and organs near the cancer site might receive small doses of radiation if this happens. Late effects of radiation could include:

  • Slowed or halted bone growth in children.
  • Skin sensitivity to sun exposure.
  • Problems with memory or ability to learn.
  • Secondary cancers such as skin cancer.

How Do You Know If Your Cancer Treatment Is Working

After youre diagnosed with cancer, your doctor will choose treatments that have the best chance of curing your disease. But everyone is different. So how will your doctor track how well your treatment works?

Cancer is often deep inside your body. If it shrinks or grows, you wont be able to see or feel it. So your doctor will do tests every few months or so during your treatment.

These tests can see where the cancer is in your body and whether it has grown, stayed the same size, or gotten smaller. Based on your test results, your doctor can decide whether to keep you on your current treatment or try something else.

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How Often You Receive Chemotherapy

Treatment schedules for chemotherapy vary widely. How often and how long you get chemotherapy depends on

  • your type of cancer and how advanced it is
  • whether chemotherapy is used to
  • cure your cancer
  • the type of chemotherapy you are getting
  • how your body responds to the chemotherapy
  • You may receive chemotherapy in cycles. A cycle is a period of chemotherapy treatment followed by a period of rest. For instance, you might receive chemotherapy every day for 1 week followed by 3 weeks with no chemotherapy. These 4 weeks make up one cycle. The rest period gives your body a chance to recover and build new healthy cells.

    How Long Do You Need To Take Chemotherapy Drugs

    Cancer Treatment: IMRT (Radiation Therapy)

    On average, chemotherapy treatments take 3-6 months to complete. This can vary depending on the type of cancer, the stage of cancer, and the specific chemotherapy drugs being used.

    You may need one or more treatment cycles lasting 2-6 weeks each with a rest period in between. For instance, you might get chemo daily for 1 week, followed by 3 weeks off before starting a new cycle.

    This approach is designed to destroy cancer cells and give the body time to recover and make healthy cells.

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    Chemotherapy Is Sometimes Used To Treat Diseases Other Than Cancers

    Because chemo drugs work well to kill fast-dividing cells, doctors sometimes use them to fight other conditions.

    Chemotherapy can be used to:

    • Prepare for a bone marrow stem cell transplant if you have a bone marrow disease
    • Treat an overactive immune system — your body’s defense against germs — in diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis

    Chemotherapy Gave Her Mouth Ulcers And She Lost Her Senses Of Taste And Smell Food Tasted Bland

    I do remember while I was on the chemo I lost all sense of smell and I lost all my taste, and everything I ate tasted like cardboard, it was just horrible. I’m trying to think what did I used to eat that I could taste? Things that were just really tasty I had to eat because all my taste buds had gone. I just remember that everything just tasted really bland and horrible so I used to go for the, I had to be careful with curry because curry used to, it was so sensitive in my mouth, you’re to be careful with spicy food and stuff like that, but stuff that was really tasty I used to go for. I used to eat a lot of ice lollies and all because it just used to cool my mouth down, because it tended to burn my mouth I used to get mouth ulcers and they used to give me the Cocyl mouth wash for my mouth. That were the only thing, these are just the side effects of the chemotherapy. It just affected my nose and my mouth, my throat a little bit.

    Many people said they felt tired after chemotherapy and didn’t have the energy for their usual daily activities. Despite being desperately tired some found it really hard to sleep, which of course gets even worse if you worry about not sleeping. Some had to pace themselves or take naps during the day. One woman said the fatigue was even worse than when she was a new mother and working full-time. A few of the people who had been treated several years ago said they had never regained their full strength or stamina.

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    The Pros & Cons Of Chemo

    Chemo travels throughout your whole body. This has both positive and negative effects:

    • The positive side: Chemo can reach and kill cancer cells growing in different parts of your body
    • The downside: Chemo can kill healthy cells, too

    Your doctor will need to weigh these factors when choosing your treatment.

    Other Modes Of Attack

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    • Hormones such as prednisone and dexamethasone in high doses can kill lymphoma or lymphocytic leukemia cells.
    • Antimitotic drugs such as vincristine or vinblastine damage cancer cells by blocking a process called mitosis , preventing cancer cells from dividing and multiplying.
    • Antibodies made specifically to attach to cancer cells interfere with a cancer cell’s function and kill the cell. Some antibodies are combined with a toxin or radioactive substance.

    For information about the drugs mentioned on this page, visit Drug Listings.

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    What Is Strep A Infection

    Strep A is a bacterium found in the throat and on the skin. It usually causes mild fever and throat infection. Many people catch this infection without symptoms, but it frequently causes high fevers or throat infections known as strep throat. Infection can spread when people cough or sneeze droplets which contain the bacteria and via skin-to-skin contact. Therefore, the best way to avoid disease is to maintain good hygiene.

    What Are The Risks Of Chemotherapy

    While chemotherapy may kill rapidly growing cancer cells, the downside is that it may also damage healthy cells in the process. This is often the cause of some common side effects of chemotherapy. For example, chemotherapy may temporarily decrease the production of red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, which may lead to anemia, fatigue and a suppressed immune system. Certain drugsnot all damage cells that help hair grow, which may lead to temporary hair loss. Damage to cells in the digestive system may cause vomiting, diarrhea or constipation.

    Not everyone experiences the same side effects to the same degree. The side effects you may experience depend on the type of chemotherapy you receive, the combination of drugs youre treated with, whether you have any other chronic illnesses, the medications you may be taking for other conditions and how active or fit you are going into treatment. Your oncologist considers these issues when determining which treatment options may benefit you and whether you can tolerate treatment.

    Common short-term side effects include:

    Long-term side effects are less common, but they may include:

    Before therapy, patients have to sign consent forms that list every potential side effectmany of which are very rare but still quite scary. Your doctor can tell you which ones you may be more likely to experience.

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    Side Effects Can Vary

    There are dozens of ways chemo might affect you, from fatigue and constipation to hair loss, nausea, and mood changes. But it’s not the same for everyone. Some people get few side effects or even none at all.

    Which ones you get depend partly on what drugs you take. But it’s hard to predict until you start treatment. Talk to your doctor about what to expect.

    What Do I Do If My Chemotherapy Isnt Working

    What is cancer? What causes cancer and how is it treated?

    When it comes to your chemotherapy treatment plan, your oncology team weighs many factors. They think about which drugs to use and how many cycles of treatment are necessary. They also consider the possible side effects of treatment and take into account any of your other health issues. Even with these considerations, chemotherapy isnt always successful.

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    You Take Some Chemo Drugs As Pills Or Skin Cream

    You may not need to get chemotherapy through an IV. Your doctor may suggest you use one of these methods:

    • Shots in your arm, thigh, hip, leg, or belly
    • Through an infusion port, a device put underneath your skin that connects to a vein
    • A cream or gel that you rub on your skin
    • Pills, capsules, or liquids that you swallow

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