Possible Side effects of Cancer Treatments
continued from the previous post (possibile side-effects of different cancer treatment)
Potential Side-effects of Chemotherapy
Diarrhoea is an increase in the number and looseness of stools. It occurs because chemotherapy drugs often affect the cells that line the gastrointestinal tract. Many factors increase the risk of Diarrhoea, including the type and dose of chemotherapy drug used.
Diarrhoea is often worse when combinations of drugs are given. Diarrhoea occurs soon after chemotherapy starts and can continue for up to 2 weeks after treatment has ended
i) Skin Changes
Some chemotherapy drugs can cause minor skin changes or skin irritation. Skin changes can occur during and for some time after chemotherapy. They may include redness, itching, dryness, rash or nail changes. Skin may also be more sensitive or easily irritated by the sun during chemotherapy treatment.
Some chemotherapy drugs can cause painful side effects, such as headache, cramps and aching in the muscles and joints. Burning, numbness and tingling or shooting pains in the hands and feet may also occur. This may continue for a period of time after treatment is finished.
k) Pain at the Injection Site
Many chemotherapy drugs are given by an injection, usually into a vein (intravenous or IV). Sometimes drugs can escape from the vein and leak into the surrounding tissues. This is called extravasation.
Some chemotherapy drugs can be very irritating if they get into surrounding tissues. These drugs are called vesicants. When these drugs get into the tissues, they can cause redness, swelling, pain, burning or stinging at the injection site. In some cases, extravasation can cause severe damage to the skin and surrounding soft tissue.
l) Organ Damage
Certain chemotherapy drugs can cause organ damage. Steps are taken to limit the damage to healthy cells, but occasionally organ damage can occur. Whether or not organ damage occurs depends on many factors. Some of the organs that may be affected by chemotherapy include the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and bladder. Some chemotherapy drugs can damage the nervous system and cause peripheral neuropathy.
Conclusion: Chemotherapy drugs also have side effects as it happens while taking any other medicines. Side effects of chemotherapy are unavoidable as it occurs as a direct result of taking a drug.
Although most anti-cancer drugs have side effects, not everyone will get these effects. A person may experience no side effects of chemotherapy, some side effects, or all of them.