What are the effects of your first chemo treatment?


Quick Answer

The most common side effects of chemo are fatigue, pain, diarrhea, vomiting and blood disorders, notes the American Society of Clinical Oncology. The effects of chemo treatment can vary by the location and type of cancer, the patient's health and the chemotherapy dosage.

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Full Answer

A general feeling of exhaustion is one of the most common side effects of chemotherapy treatments, says the ASCO. A patient should speak with his doctor about ways to combat fatigue, such as nutrition, medication, specific physical activities and getting the right amount of sleep.

Pains caused by chemo treatments include headaches, stomach pain, nerve pain and muscle pain. While pains can become more manageable as time passes, a patient might continue to suffer from symptoms for months or years if there is enough damage done to the nerves, notes the ASCO. Options for treating pain include medication, blocking pain signals and altering the patient's perception of the pain.

Treatments can also cause an individual's bowel movements to take on a watery or loose consistency, according to the ASCO. A chemo patient should be proactive and speak with his doctor when treating and preventing diarrhea by making sure he remains well hydrated. Follow-up care can help a chemo patient manage side effects and might be required months or years after treatment has stopped to ensure the patient is recovering properly.

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