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Expert Explains Things To Avoid During Chemotherapy

Though chemotherapy is an effective way to treat many types of cancer, chemotherapy treatment also carries a risk of side effects.

Sambhav Kumar
Written by: Sambhav KumarUpdated at: Apr 19, 2023 18:14 IST
Expert Explains Things To Avoid During Chemotherapy

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Chemotherapy is a modality of cancer treatment that uses powerful drugs to kill fast growing cells in the body. It not only targets the rapidly-growing cancer cells but also healthy, rapidly-growing cells in the body which include the cells that line the intestines and mouth, hair follicles and multiplying bone marrow cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be used alone or in combination to treat a wide variety of cancers even after other treatments to kill hidden cancer cells. Though chemotherapy is an effective way to treat many types of cancer, chemotherapy treatment also carries a risk of side effects. Some chemotherapy side effects are minor and manageable, while others can be life-threatening. In an interaction with OnlyMyHealth, Dr. Amit Verma, Molecular Oncologist and Cancer Geneticist, Dr AV Cancer Institute of Personalized Cancer Therapy and Research, Gurgaon, explained about things to avoid while receiving chemotherapy

Cancer patients have low immunity and higher risk of developing secondary infections. There are numerous things which can be avoided while on chemotherapy treatment that helps to maintain a better quality of life reducing the side effects.

Avoid Meat And Seafood And Food That Increases Side Effects Of Chemotherapy 

Eating animal matter increases secondary infections. Further, some foods which are hard, spicy or acidic in nature tend to increase the discomfort post chemotherapy sessions. Foods that are not properly washed or cooked can be harmful to cancer patients as well. Sugary and processed drinks should be avoided as they contain a lot of preservatives. All patients should be served fresh home cooked meals.

Read: Lung Cancer Takes 1.8 Million Lives Annually, Expert Suggests Prevention Tips

Avoid Taking Medications Or Supplements Unless Prescribed

Self medication may seem harmless but it is actually not. Some patients take supplements with the purpose of correcting concerns such as food digestion, but they are unaware of the cross-drug interactions that may result in higher chemotherapy side effects.

Avoid Overexertion

Common side effect of chemotherapy is fatigue. It is best to listen to your body and rest well whenever feeling low. Some patients can carry moderate levels of activities while others may find it hard to carry out daily household activities and that is completely normal. Positive mindset of the patient and the caregivers is very important to have a high life condition.

Avoid Delays

First signs of bleeding, nausea, diarrhoea or temperature beyond 100 °F should be informed to the treating physician as it may lead to complications for patients. 

Caregivers Should Take Proper Precautions

Caregivers should be taking utmost care while handling the cancer patients. Washing hands before being in contact with them can help save them from a lot of infections. If caregivers are sick, they should practice social distancing with the cancer patient.

Read: How Unprotected Sex Leads To Cervical Cancer

These are just a few simple steps that can ease the journey of cancer patients while or after the treatment as this journey of fighting cancer is long haul. It may be hard for some while not so for others. It is okay to not feel okay but reach out and share to your physicians, counselors and loved ones for fighting it out better.