Normally, cells of the normal body grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer cells keep growing without any control. Chemotherapy is drug therapy for cancer. It works by killing the cancer cells, stopping them from spreading, trying to finish all the cancerous cells or slowing their growth. However, it can also harm or damage healthy cells, which causes side effects.
Side effects depend on the type and amount of chemotherapy you get and how your body reacts. Some common side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss.
There are some ways to prevent or control some side effects. Talk with your health care provider, consult with your doctor about how to manage them. Healthy cells usually recover after chemotherapy is over, so most side effects gradually go away too.
The treatment plan will depend on the cancer type, the chemotherapy drugs used, the treatment goal, and how your body responds. Chemotherapy may be given alone or with other treatments. You may get treatment every day, every week, or every month. You may have breaks between treatments so that your body has a chance to build or to create new healthy cells.
Food to avoid during Chemotherapy:
Hot, spicy foods (i.e. hot pepper, curry, Cajun spice mix).
High fiber foods (i.e. raw fruit and vegetables, coarse whole grains).
Fatty, greasy, or fried foods.
Rich desserts. Nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.
For 48 hours after receiving chemotherapy, patients and caretakers should follow these precautions:
Flush toilets twice each time they are used. If possible, patients should use a separate toilet from others in the home.
Always wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet.
Caregivers must wear gloves when handling the patients’ blood, urine, stool, or emesis. Dispose of the gloves after each use and wash your hands.
After using any devices for bodily waste, patients should thoroughly wash their hands and the devices with soap and water. Dry the devices with paper towels, and discard the towels.
Any sheets or clothes soiled with bodily fluids should be machine-washed twice in hot water with regular laundry detergent. Do not hand wash. If you cannot wash them right away, place them in a sealed plastic bag.
Absorbable under garments should be place in sealed plastic bags for disposal.
If caretakers accidentally come in contact with bodily fluids, they should wash the area of exposure several times with soapy water and inform their doctors on their next visit.
A single exposure may not do much harm, but caretakers should take extra precautions to avoid repeated exposure.
Be sure that someone is with the patient, because more help may be needed at those times.