Managing Leukemia Treatment Side-effects
- Leukemia is when immature white blood cells increase uncontrollably in the blood or bone marrow
- The most significant side-effect of leukemia treatment is low counts of red blood cells
- Learn more about it to take care of it better
When immature white blood cells increase uncontrollably in the blood or bone marrow, the ‘blast’-as it is called-happens to be a type of cancer that is called leukemia. There are four types of treatments that one can avail for leukemia and they are induction chemotherapy, consolidation therapy or intensification, CNS prophilaxis and maintenance treatments.
Leukemia treatment is a difficult procedure to go through as it can have an adverse effect on you. The effects of leukemia treatment range from mildly disturbing to an overwhelmingly bad experience. The most alarming aspect of the treatment is that it in an attempt to kill the cancer cells often kills the other healthy cells in the body.
The side-effects of Leukemia can be the following.
- Hair loss
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth sores
- Easy bruising
- Bowel troubles
- Difficulty in swallowing
It is very difficult to go back to the second cycle of treatment after a patient has gone through the first one and has experienced the side-effects. You need to take care of some of the factors here that are in your control.
Infection– When your white blood cell count reduces, there is a chance that you may get infections easily. To avoid such a situation, your doctor may give you preventive medications. From your end, you will have to stay away from sick people, wash your hands daily before eating, etc. Also, avoid eating raw vegetables and stay away from fresh flowers as they may contain germs.
Bleeding– You may be very prone to bleeding. Nose bleeding, gum bleeding and blood in stool and urine can become an everyday affair because of the low blood palatal count. To prevent frequent bleeding, always use a soft toothbrush, replace a shaving blade for an electric razor and avoid straining during bowel movements.
Diarrhoea– To avoid diarrhoea, always eat healthful foods. Get in the habit of eating well. You may also need anti-diarrhoea medicines. Drink a lot of fluids.
Hair Loss– This is the most common side-effect of Leukemia treatment. It is very difficult to regrow hair that you have lost. The best thing that you can do is to get a wig for yourself.
Sore Mouth- Rinse four times a day one-half teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. Avoid alcohol and spicy foods.
Read: Tips to Prevent Leukemia
Always consult your doctor. Leukemia is a nasty disease; take care of yourself and you will be fine.
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Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jun 23, 2018
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