Cancer is a very challenging disease to handle. It generates debilitating symptoms, and the very treatments that you will need to help you achieve complete remission or conquer the disease can cause nasty side effects, which can greatly affect your quality of life.
That is why if you have recently received a cancer diagnosis, you will need a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals (e.g., medical, radiation, and surgical oncologists; oncology nurse; pathologist; nutritionist, psychiatrist, etc.) to help you navigate your treatment and handle all the possible quality-of-life issues that it can bring on.
Let’s explore the common side effects of cancer treatments and learn about how your cancer care team can help you manage them.
If your cancer is localized, your doctor will likely recommend surgery to remove it. Postoperative pain can be significant. Accordingly, your care team can administer medications and other interventions to safely manage your pain and ensure your comfort as you recover.
They may also recommend relaxation therapies, such as meditation, tai chi, and massage to help you handle the psychological effects of pain.
Extreme tiredness is a common side effect associated with many cancer treatment modalities. It persists despite rest and having a good night’s sleep, and gradually subsides after the end of your treatment cycle.
Your care team may recommend exercise, counseling as well as dietary or nutritional counseling to help you combat fatigue. Additionally, your doctor may suggest sleep therapy if you’re experiencing sleep problems.
MOUTH SORES AND DIFFICULTY SWALLOWING
Radiation and pharmacologic interventions for cancer can cause mouth sores and salivary gland damage, making chewing and swallowing difficult and painful.
Your care team may prescribe oral gel and pain medications as well as make dietary recommendations to address your mouth sores and/or make eating and swallowing easier.
Hair loss is a common, distressing side effect of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and other cancer treatment modalities.
Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist or hair loss specialist to help resolve this problem.
NAUSEA, VOMITING, AND WEIGHT LOSS
Many cancer treatments make people lose their appetite, throw up, and/or experience generalized malaise and nausea.
Your doctor will recommend dietary modifications and prescribe antiemetic drugs to help you keep your food down and address your nausea. Your doctor may also order IV infusion of fluids to relieve associated dehydration.
CANCER CARE IN WOOSTER, OH
At Wooster Community Hospital, our cancer care team consists of highly credentialed healthcare professionals who are committed to providing our patients with all the care and support they need and to guiding them, every step of the way, on their journey to complete remission or victory over the disease.
To learn more about our oncology services or to schedule an appointment, please contact us at (330) 262-2800.