What are the side effects of high-dose chemotherapy for cancer?

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During high-dose chemotherapy, the patient receives high doses of chemotherapy, and possibly radiation therapy, in order to kill the cancer cells. While chemotherapy affects the cancer cells, normal cells also may be affected (side effects). The major side effect is bone marrow damage, which causes low blood cell counts. A patient who is receiving chemotherapy may experience nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, sore throat and mouth, fatigue, hair loss, and skin changes. There are medications to prevent or decrease some of these side effects. Intravenous fluids will be given.

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Chemotherapy For Cancer

Chemotherapy For Cancer

One of three common treatments for cancer, chemotherapy uses drugs to kill or slow down the progression of cancer cells. Different chemotherapy drugs are used for different types of cancers and can be combined with other treatment...

s, like radiation therapy or surgery. Chemotherapy often causes side effects, such as fatigue, nausea and mouth sores. Most side effects subside after treatment ends; however, some side effects can develop late in treatment and cause long-lasting issues, such as heart and kidney problems, or damage to nerve and lung tissue. Make sure to talk to your oncologist early about these potential side effects. To prepare for chemotherapy, ask your doctor for tests to check your heart and liver functions to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo treatment. Once you're ready for treatment, you may receive the drugs intravenously through a port in your chest, orally by taking a pill or through an injection into a muscle.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.